The Australian Air Quality Group does a better job of informing about Science than I do.
Wood smoke is toxic. Click here for a list of what is in it.
New Zealand Epidemiological Study results. One of the studies findings : ” The greatest effect occurs due to premature mortality associated with long-term exposure to fine particulates from combustion sources.“
It also says “There are adverse effects from air pollution that may not have direct and obvious public health implications, but nevertheless have effects on society. These include restricted-activity days, which can affect large portions of the population on bad, or even moderate, air pollution days.” Restricted activity days means a day when a normal citizen cannot go about their lawful activities, like walking a dog, or biking a mile.
Interesting and worrying information
A quick glossary
carcinogenic – cancer causing
dioxin – a poison
epidemiological – the pattern of disease, such as studies of the rates of disease and the location of chronic woodsmoke exposure i.e for childhood asthma, or cardiopulmonary disease in adults.
mutagenic – causing inheritable genetic damage to the sperm or ova – leads to birth defects
particulate – small particles small enough to enter cells in the lung causing cancers and other diseases, measured in microns (1 millionth of a metre). PM10 means 10 micron sized particles. PM2.5 means sub 2.5 micron sized particles. When people rabbit on about the toxicity of nanoparticles they are talking about particles of these dimensions.
radioactive – decay of nuclear material causing emission of alpha particles, which is one path to carginogenic and mutagenic damage of cells in your body.
For more science stuff see here.