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    • CommentAuthorGreenlady
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2017
    Ed Davies - Thank you for your contribution .- Yes that 's the issue a statutory nuisance doesn't necessarily apply to a private dwelling, not sure at this stage if the fact that we are not in a smoke control area is an advantage or disadvantage, probably a disadvantage .

    Peter _in _ Hungary - No doubt it will be at my expense to prove that the products of combustion are not carried away. I'm now excepting of the fact that my only option will be to go down the same route as Mikee.

    Anyway the postman has not delivered the new diary so I 'll submit my continuous log on Monday irrespective if the log burner used continuously or not . Fumes are Fumes when ever they occur.
    • CommentAuthorMikeee5
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2017 edited
    Are you in a smoke control area Greenlady and is this a new installation ?
    The response from your EHO's is very similar to our experience when we started our complaint 14 months ago, they must all be get the same briefing notes, we have experienced similar bullying at times which seems to be aimed at wearing us down and trying to stop the complaint.

    Time to raise awareness of the growing problem of illegal use of wood burners;


    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2017
    • CommentAuthorMarkyP
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    shame the article falls short on giving any actual data on the contribution of wood burners to the current smog but I do feel like successive governments have been sleep walking on this front. It wouldn't have taken much to look at stove sales data and seen a problem coming in highly populated urban areas. Tough now for government to act decisively - as always they wait until the problem becomes endemic and chronic before acting which makes it much harder to fix. A whole national industry has built up around wood burning - logging, stove manufacture, stove fitting, stove supply, chimney sweeps - must be a huge chunk of money and create lots of jobs. Also, the middle class home owner has grown to rather like the warm glow of the stove, how to change their mind and discourage use without losing their vote?

    If government policy shifted on wood burners then it might catalyse a change in stance from EHOs, either through directive or just through a shift in attitude. It's hard to call a nationwide trend in EHO behavior to wood smoke pollution from three or four problems cited in the various threads here (not that I doubt their veracity) but it does seem feasible that this just isn't on the agenda for EHOs at a dept policy level - too hard to enforce, perception that it's not really that bad, human rights of the polluter to keep their house warm. Different to the bread and butter barking dogs or noisy neighbors. Again, some data would be interesting - how many complaints about wood smoke nuisance? How many enforcement actions? A freedom of information request might yield some interesting data, either at local authority level or nationally. If there is a trend on a rising number of complaints but a very low level of enforcement then it might serve to illustrate that env health is out of kilter with a growing problem, or at least trigger a review. It might also trigger some press interest.
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    I think the person to do it is Sadij Khan (Mayor of London). He has the 'ear of the government'.
    Get things changed in London and the rest of the country follows.

    The quick and easy ways to control the problem is via taxation. Just place a tax on wood burners (like a TV licence) and then tax wholesale timber for heating at source.
    Trouble is that there seems to be this perpetuating myth that burning biomass is environmentally benign, just like diesel cars were.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Posted By: SteamyTeathis perpetuating myth that burning biomass is environmentally benign

    well, I've no numbers, but expect that burning biomass is just as, if not a lot more, benign than uranium-mining, and leaking radiactive gases into the atmosphere (Chernobyl...), and burying nuclear waste... It is just a question of "benign for whom?" (my immediate neighbour, or the planet as a whole...).

    It's OK taxing UK wood-burners, but who taxes the Brazilian or Indonesian rain-forest thugs ?

    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Well the WHO have numbers. This campaigning site https://woodsmokepollution.org/real-costs-of-wood-burning.html says that the WHO estimate that 4 million people die prematurely each year due to diseases exacerbated by domestic wood smoke.

    The worst nuclear accident in the world, Chernobyl, had killed 64 people from radiation exposure as of 2008. Fukushima has had no confirmed deaths from radiation.

    I suggest you read http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter5.html for a rational assessment of the real dangers of radiation (which bear no relation to the impression given in the media and by most green advocates).

    All green energy sources have killed many more people than nuclear energy has.
    Posted By: billtThe worst nuclear accident in the world, Chernobyl, had killed 64 people from radiation exposure as of 2008.
    Let's not go down this hole but for your info estimates of the number of deaths potentially resulting from the accident vary enormously: the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest it could reach 4,000 whereas the Chernobyl Union, the main organization of liquidators (the people involved in stabilising Chernobyl in the years after the immediate aftermath was over says there are a total of about 60,000 dead (10% of the 600 000, liquidators). I can't comment on what the right number is but I can say that to say 64 died is ridiculous!

    I am ex-RAF and I heard it mentioned more than once that somewhere around 400 helicopter pilots alone died - just rumours of course.......
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017 edited
    Posted By: billtAll green energy sources have killed many more people than nuclear energy has.

    ah, so benigness is just about killing then, it is not about health and such things as deteriorated thyroid glands and quality of life...

    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    The lifestyle of the local population would kill them faster than any increased mortality from low level radiation exposure, trust me

    Less than 100 deaths is pretty accurate - statistically, the death toll may reach several thousands as a statistical risk factor - the increase in people who might die rather than those who will die

    Survival for thyroid cancer (particularly young people) is well over 95% and case incidence is pretty low

    400 helicopter pilot deaths is total nonsense and the figures above are the numbers approximately that we were working with as part of the sarcophagus containment project - so maybe that makes me biased

    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Posted By: GotanewlifeLet's not go down this hole .....

    I see you've chosen to completely miss the point, which is that several orders of magnitude of deaths each year are caused by wood burning than have been caused by nuclear power generation during the 60 odd years of operation. (If you believe the WHO 4 million a year figure, which I don't.)
    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Posted By: gyrogear
    Posted By: billtAll green energy sources have killed many more people than nuclear energy has.

    ah, so benigness is just about killing then, it is not about health and such things as deteriorated thyroid glands and quality of life...


    So wood burning doesn't cause lung and heart problems then? (Not to mention quality of life issues for neighbours!)

    Collapsing dams don't kill and injure people?

    People don't get killed and injured in major construction projects like wind turbines?

    Manufacturing PV modules doesn't involve the use of very toxic chemicals?
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Stop being awkward - surely you know you can power up an iPad with the combined wishful thinking of a few dozen hipsters

    All renewables are 100% safe is the mantra

    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Posted By: barneyAll renewables are 100% safe is the mantra
    Electricity comes from Unicorn Farts :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Isn't that Biogas ? - whole herds of them in NI collecting RHI's I believe

    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2017
    Posted By: barney as part of the sarcophagus containment project

    I watched the documentary about that on the BBC. It's an incredibly impressive engineering achievement.

    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2017
    Indeed - lots of challenges to overcome and some pretty unique thinking to overcome them

    However, Chernobyl didn't actually kill many people nor is it likely to in the fullness of time

    I'd hazard a guess that the worst health effects on the "locals" actually arise from relocation outside the 30km zone


    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2017 edited
    The health effects on the "locals" actually arise mostly from the cover-up, if they were told to leave within a few hours then they would have mostly been OK.

    Likewise if the rest of the Chernobyl site was closed down rather then keeping it operating, the mess should have been a lot easier to contain, but then 1000s of people would have died from cold that winter.
    I thought this topic was about "Smoke Nuisance from neighbours chimney" seems to have been redirected, suggest looking at; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-38746482

    "Pollution from wood burners are on the rise, If there was one surprise from the recent very high pollution levels, it was the fact that according to King's College some of the pollution was due to "unusually high levels of domestic wood burning".
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2017
    Do you really understand what happened there Ringi - try read in the scientific reports including those of WHO

    Poverty and alcoholism amongst the relocated communities is most certainly killing more than anyone exposed to what was actually low level radiation dose (in comparison to the emergency workers who were exposed to much higher doses, but don't appear to have a significantly different premature mortality)


    • CommentAuthorGreenlady
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2017
    Hi Mikee5
    The area is classed as semi-rural and is not a smoke free zone. The installation is not new now , I first complained in the Autumn/Winter 2013/2104 after installation and basically BC fobbed me of with reasons of a 30 min leeway to produce smoke, although the complaint was about the fumes and a site visit resulted in a phone call to say the chimney ( inferring height /location ) was in line with building regs as there is not an opening window in my gable end which faces the flue and passed the buck pack to EHO, I reported this back to the EHO and right now can’t remember what happened next. Last year 15/16 I complained again but foolishly as it didn’t appear to be as bad or as prolonged didn’t submit the diary.
    Moving on, the diary arrived 15th Jan and up until last night I would have to admit the fumes have hardly been noticeable and had started to think that the 3rd letter from the EHD is making them re-consider how /when/or with what they use on the log burner. Previously the diary covered 14 days, however on this occasion I’ve been give 4 weeks to return the diary as the point I made about fluctuating temperatures appears to have been taken into consideration.
    Being cynical, perhaps the aroma last night is based on an assumption that a 14 day cessation period has expired. Maybe later tonight will I be able to confirm that theory.
    I also believe that the Dylos isn’t the best option for this situation, as it’s fumes not smoke (particulates) that are the issue. I ‘m sure that other contributors to this forum will either shoot me down in flames( excuse the pun ) or educate me otherwise for having made that statement but I ‘ve spoken with an environmental monitoring provider who can measure the fire related Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons and carry out an Odour Evaluation & Compounds specification. I’m waiting to see what happens now we are outside the 14-day period and if the EHO will accept the results of the aforementioned tests etc.
    I would just like assure all past and present contributors to this forum and those that have personally responded, your advice & experiences haven’t fallen on deaf ears, I’m either waiting for the right time to act or I’m not in position to divulge. I have read through both streams of posts on this topic, noted all tech info and arguments, with a view to engaging the expertise of Richard Buxton & Co in an advisory capacity in the near future .
    As mentioned in my earlier posts the Councils EHO's are unlikely to take any notice of readings from an uncalibrated monitor as the current legislation does not recognise indoor particulate readings as admissable in Statutory Nuisance claims. However, if you are able to use an independant environmental specialist this should help you to collect evidence to support your case.

    Twitter Note; @cleanairlondon
    Whilst its a site that is primarily about London pollution you will find a lot of useful information on the twitter site @cleanairlondon, also reccomend you search on the hashtag #airpollution
    • CommentAuthorGreenlady
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2017
    My local EH Dept have concluded that a nuisance doesn’t exist as I didn’t call them out during a set period agreed for evening site visits. I’ve revived a booklet on taking out a section 82 etc. During the set period for observation the weather was unseasonably warm and the log burning events ceased, were either less frequent or the fumes were hardly noticeably. I have responded in writing that the weather was favourable to the log burners and that they may have ceased to use it during the observation period for a variety of reasons. I ‘m sure they would have been notified that the situation was being monitored.
    Since then haven’t had any genuine reason to complain which I’m grateful for but wonder if I should leave the matter until it starts again ( September ) or tackle the planning dept in advance ( re-cap -it’s not an planning issue as I have no opening windows on my gable end) . As a layman I believe it’s too close to my house, as in my original complaint .Using the calcs found on this site to determine if it’s proximity is within the guidelines, that original part of the house is outside but it’s too close to the new upper floor extension . Irrespective of any calculations, we live in the part of house furthest away from the flue if that has any bearing on the matter , and as the PD and EH do not take into consideration wind patterns or topography I ‘n not sure how to proceed.
    Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    Greenlady - Your experience all sounds so familiar we have found much the same response from our Councils EHO and strangely our neighbour has reduced their lighting up frequency significantly in the last couple of months . A cynic might suspect the neighbour has been warned we are monitoring their wood burning. We do have a door and a window on the side of our home closest to the chimney that made no difference and its even been suggested to us that we should abandon the affected parts of our home. Is there a plan by Councils to avoid action as suggested by a recent article in the Times? "Only one person prosecuted in crackdown on chimney pollution"

    Posted By: GreenladySince then haven’t had any genuine reason to complain which I’m grateful for but wonder if I should leave the matter until it starts again ( September ) or tackle the planning dept in advance

    If you have no reason to complain then IMO it will be difficult to substantiate a complaint. Keep records of your complaints (and any evidence) so far and if problems reoccur then you can make a complaint referencing the previous troubles.

    As said by cleanairforall2 first the councils may be avoiding action for a variety of reasons and your neighbour might also be warned to be careful and so avoid causing you problems to avoid restrictions on their wood burning.

    It is important to get everything in writing and take minutes of any meetings and get them signed by all present. If any one suggests that you should abandon the affected parts of our home then this is good ammunition as it implies acknowledgement of a problem. The other reason for having minutes is that once the officials realise that they have to sign minutes then they are less likely to be flippant in their replies and perhaps do their jobs better.
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2017 edited
    Posted By: cleanairforall2"Only one person prosecuted in crackdown on chimney pollution"
    Can you copy and paste that Times article as it is behind a paywall.
    Steamytea to access the article in the Times you just have to sign up for free on the times website and and you get free access to 2 articles per week at no cost.
    • CommentAuthorGreenlady
    • CommentTimeApr 29th 2018
    Hello , I just thought I 'd update you all on my situation and say Hi to Mikee...keep plugging away at it .

    To -recap The nuisance ( chemical aroma ) ceased during the 2nd period of monitoring ( 3rd complaint ) which leaves me to wonder if the E.H.D actually notified of them of my 2nd complaint as nothing changed during that period , at my 1 st complaint - Building control, came out and passed the buck etc and the problem continued . After the 2nd period of monitoring the E.H.O concluded that I should take out a private action as the nuisance was not consistent.
    To-date , thankfully I'm not troubled by the chemical smell and only occasionally become aware of woodsmoke. I raised the matter with my local MP , who mis understood my point about the build regs being so loose , ineffective self -regulation etc and put me back in contact with the Director of E.H, to which I have yet to respond.
    Yesterday I noticed more doors being added to the pile of wood ( old kitchen units and pallets ) thrown at the bottom of the garden which I suspect was kept when renovating their house to use on the log burner. For the past two years expected a 5th November bonfire , but this never happened . As they have the means to take this to the recyling tip ,I'm guessing that they think it can be used in the future. As the saying goes ...watch this space.
    • CommentAuthorSimonMF
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2018
    In my opinion, there is a case for smoke exposure to be treated as either assault or battery. Why? Because it has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that exposure to smoke is harmful. I think it worthwhile seeking a legal opinion on this for which you will need a co-operative solicitor. A good source of information is this document from the Law Commission:

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