Why is open burning a problem?
Open burning can release many kinds of toxic fumes. Leaves and plant materials send aloft millions of spores when they catch fire, causing many people with allergies to have difficulty breathing.
The pollutants released by open burning also make it more difficult to meet health-based air quality standards, especially in or near large cities. The gases released by open burning can also corrode metal siding and damage paint on buildings.
Burning household waste produces many toxic chemicals and is one of the largest known sources of dioxin in the nation. Other air pollutants from open burning include particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, lead and mercury. These pollutants have been linked to several health problems, including asthma, respiratory illnesses, nervous system damage, kidney and liver damage, and reproductive or developmental disorders.
Open burning is any time you light an outdoor fire without a chimney or stack. When burning refuse in burn barrels or open piles, the potential cost to your health, your home, your neighbors and your environment far exceeds the price of adequate collection services. Protect yourself, your neighbors and your wallet by knowing the rules—what you can burn and where.
Open burning also adds co2 to the atmosphere and contributes to global climate change.