Coal Fuel Set to Be Banned from English Homes in Clean Air Drive
(Bloomberg) -- Owners of traditional log and coal fires in England face strict limits on the fuel they can use under government reforms designed to improve air quality.
Ministers will ban traditional house coal and impose new restrictions on the sale of small bags of logs for wood-burning stoves, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in a document published on Friday. The moves are intended to protect the environment and climate, and reduce dangers to human health from smoke pollution.
According to official figures, air pollution is the greatest environmental risk to human health in the U.K. As emissions from energy production and vehicles are reduced, the government is focusing on other forms of air pollution, including heating homes.
“Domestic burning through wood burning stoves and coal fires now makes up the single largest contributor to our national emissions of particulate matter,” the department said. “The tiny particles in smoke can enter the bloodstream and enter internal organs, causing long term health issues as well as having more immediate impacts on some such as breathing problems or asthma attacks.”
The government’s plans include:
- A ban for all pre-packaged traditional bituminous house coal sold through shops such as supermarkets, garden centers and hardware stores. The ban will come into force in one year’s time
- Coal merchants also face a ban from selling loose fuel direct to customers, coming into force two years later
- Wood sold in small single units will be required to have a moisture content of 20% or less to cut out the burning of “wet” wood, which generates more smoke than dry fuel
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