Monday, March 24, 2014

Update On---Shocking Story...Grave harm and death in the air residents breathe in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A.

Webmaster----In October, 2013, the story titled...." 



was posted on the Breathe Healthy Air Website.

Here is a letter sent to the Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Board of Trustees seeking their help again to end the horrors of woodsmoke in this town.  Note...As of today, no reply has been received by the Elk Grove Village resident who sent this letter seeking their help.  

February 28, 2014

Board of Trustees
Village of Elk Grove Village
901 Wellington Avenue
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

Dear Board of Trustees:

For too, too many years, the Board of Trustees of Elk Grove Village have taken "under advisement" the sincere and honorable request to modify an existing ordinance that would end/prohibit/ban all wood burning in our community, and thus ending the woodsmoke-filled air we all forcibly have to breathe all year round.

In fact, the Board of Trustees has recently even denied the request to place on a ballot this issue so that the residents of Elk Grove Village will have the constitutional right to vote on a non-binding referendum to end all wood burning--both indoor and outdoor--in Elk Grove Village. A referendum would be a great way for the Board to "hear" the voices of the residents and how they feel about woodsmoke, and its effect on all of us.

I have sent a personal letter to Mayor Johnson wishing him a speedy recovery on his recent medical illness. I am quoting parts of my letter to Mayor Johnson here to the Board......

"In the Daily Herald newspaper article about what happened to you, it states that you do not "smoke". Well, that is incorrect and untrue. Why? Before tobacco smoking was prohibited in workplaces, restaurants, bars, schools, and public buildings, ALL of us-including our children-"smoked" by inhaling/breathing secondhand tobacco smoke. As we know now, secondhand tobacco smoke is very harmful, and is a killer. Oh, woodsmoke is also linked to heart disease, and other illnesses!

Presently, residents, and visitors in Elk Grove Village (and in other towns) are also "smoking" deadly secondhand smoke--just like we did with tobacco secondhand smoke--in the form of woodsmoke emissions! These deadly emissions are aimlessly floating in the air outside, and due to their size (PM2.5), we (you and I!) are also inhaling them in our home. Thus, we are forcibly "smoking"--and harming our health, and destroying our quality of life in Elk Grove Village.

In the past, Elk Grove Village Board took the leadership role with prohibiting//banning/ending tobacco use (and thus end secondhand tobacco smoke) in our town. It is only right to now end a far more dangerous action (burning wood, and the resulting deadly woodsmoke emissions) that affects the lives of all who live in Elk Grove Village.

It was great to have someone help you survive your medical emergency. The residents of Elk Grove Village are looking to the Village Board to help us with our continuous,ongoing "medical emergency"---the deadly woodsmoke-filled, polluted air we forcibly breathe everyday."

Over the years, the Board of Trustees have received overwhelming scientific, medical, and historical information/data that woodsmoke is a killer---of the air, environment, water, and the air we all need to breathe. Woodsmoke is also an assault and battery on all of us. The Board has also received many, many letters seeking the end of wood burning in Elk Grove Village. Additionally, the Board has received a CD with shocking photos of deadly woodsmoke filling the yards and homes of neighbors from an indoor wood burning fireplace. Outdoor fire pits also create a plume of poisonous woodsmoke filling the entire neighborhood. All wood burning needs to end now...without exceptions.

One's legacy will be measured by what we did to help others in need, what we taught to those we met, what we tried or did do to make the world a better place for all, what we did to relieve pain and suffering when we had the power to do so, and would our children and future generations be proud of our actions. This is one of those "legacy" moments.

An Elk Grove Village, Illinois resident


A. What's In That Smoke?

B. Woodsmoke Websites to Visit

Webmaster....As of today, no reply has been received by the Elk Grove Village resident who sent this letter seeking the Board of Trustees help. 




Shocking story...Grave harm and death in the air residents breathe in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A.

Webmaster------The title "Woodsmoke=Environmental Terrorism" is a term stated in many written articles from people suffering from the effects of woodsmoke emissions filling the air they have to breathe each day. Wood burners know that the deadly emissions from burning wood drift through the air, and onto their neighbor's land, into their neighbor's yard and home, and into the lungs of folks in their community.  

The following ongoing, horrific story and the photos of deadly woodsmoke emissions (PM2.5) aimlessly drifting and polluting the environment, air, property, homes, and lungs of residents in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A., is from a Supporter of the Breathe Healthy Air Coalition.

The town of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A., is located in a northwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois, and is just west of O'Hare International Airport. This town has 35,000 souls who are being inundated and engulfed with harmful, noxious, and poisonous woodsmoke emissions from outdoor wood burning fire pits, fire pots and chimeneas, and also from a small minority of indoor wood burners. Burning wood outdoors-and indoors-harms the environment, the air, but also violates village, county and state air pollution laws that succinctly state that noxious, deadly air emissions, are illegal. Local, county, and state officials have been negligent in their duties and responsibilities to enforce the law, and end this obvious environmental and air pollution violation.

Homes are built close to each other in Elk Grove Village, so any, and all, drifting woodsmoke trespasses into neighboring yards and into neighboring homes, and eventually into neighbors' lungs. Woodsmoke is a nuisance, a deadly nuisance. Indoor wood burning is not needed for home heating as 99.99% of the homes use natural gas, and the remaining other .01% use electric or hot water systems for heating their home.

The following is the submission received from a Supporter of the Breathe Healthy Air Coalition who is fighting to end the horror of woodsmoke emissions in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A.

The Quest to Breathe Healthy Air........

In 2004, the Village Board of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, U.S.A., lifted a longtime ban on outdoor wood burning. The consideration to do so was based ONLY on a fire safety factor. No consideration or research at all was done or directed toward the negative environmental factors, violation of air pollution ordinances and laws, or the harm and danger to residents who are forced to breathe the drifting noxious and deadly emissions. Only one board member stated in the official record in 2004, “Won't the woodsmoke bother the neighbors”. That remark and concern was quickly ignored by the other board members.

Since, 2006, the board members of Elk Grove Village have heard personal testimony at board meetings, received letters from many people, and also received over the years, excellent and irrefutable supporting scientific, medical, and historical information that woodsmoke emissions are very harmful, and deadly. The woodsmoke emissions in Elk Grove Village are forcibly being inhaled by babies, children, and those with existing illnesses: such as, COPD, cancer, asthma, MCS, heart, and elderly residents, and even healthy residents. Wood burning is unnecessary and an antiquated action that leads to harm and premature death in any community, not only in Elk Grove Village, but in any other suburban community in Illinois. All communities should enact an ordinance to prohibit all wood burning, and prohibit all bio-mass burning.

Also, woodsmoke emissions prevent residents from enjoying and participating in village activities. Thus, wood burning, and the resulting woodsmoke, violates the federal law, known as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Elk Grove Village was informed of this fact, but has ignored it. The ADA people in Washington will only act on a formal complaint if one hires a lawyer to file a federal lawsuit. The reason that the ADA stated is they do not have enough employees to enforce the ADA law....unless they are forced to do so by a lawsuit. There are at least three official, formal ADA complaints filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, ADA Division, against Elk Grove Village for violation of the ADA.

Ironically, the community of Elk Grove Village stepped forward about one year before the Illinois statewide tobacco smoking law was passed, which in reality banned smoking in all areas, with only a few exceptions, and prohibited smoking throughout the village. Elk Grove Village realized that primary and secondhand smoke smoke was harmful and deadly. Woodsmoke is much more deadly than tobacco smoke. So Elk Grove Village wisely and sincerely took one step forward when it came to tobacco smoke to protect its residents, visitors and workers, but took two steps backward when it came to woodsmoke, and thus failed their fiduciary duty to protect the residents of Elk Grove Village from an unnecessary, unneeded, airborne carcinogen.

Recently, a cover letter and a proposed non-binding Referendum was sent to the Elk Grove Village Board seeking their support to place the said referendum on the next ballot/election so that the people of Elk Grove Village could voice their opinion on whether to continue to allow woodsmoke to fill the air they breathe or prohibit it. The formal response on the referendum request from the board was the same we have received in all our other sincere requests over the years...”We will take your comments and thoughts under consideration”!

The formal letter to the village board regarding the peoples' referendum is stated below....

September 25, 2013

Board of Trustees
Elk Grove Village, Illinois

RE: Sincerely requesting the Village Board to approve, and thus ensure, a non-binding Referendum be placed on the next available and upcoming voters' election ballot so the voters of Elk Grove Village can voice their opinion on said Referendum

I have attached a non-binding Referendum that I am sincerely requesting that the Village Board approve, and thus ensure, this non-binding Referendum will be placed on the next available and upcoming voters' election ballot so the voters of Elk Grove Village can voice their opinion on said Referendum.

The Village Board has had "under advisement" the request to ban all wood burning-indoor and outdoor-in Elk Grove Village for many years. The formal results from this Referendum will let the Board feel the "pulse" and "heart" of residents on this very important matter relating to the health of all in our town.

It is with great hope and sincerity that the Village Board will agree, and allow this non-binding Referendum be placed before the voters of Elk Grove Village as soon as possible.

Please keep us updated with the action you will take regarding this sincere request.

Thank you.


To petition the Board Members of the Village of Elk Grove Village adopt and pass an ordinance within 30 days after the passage of this non-binding Referendum that will prohibit/end all wood burning (which includes wood by-products, biomass burning, etc) within the village boundaries, and with no exceptions, thus ensuring that the now-present harmful and deadly resulting woodsmoke pollution and emissions (PM2.5) will not continue to saturate and trespass onto the land, home, and into the lungs of those who are ill with cancer, COPD, asthma, heart problems, allergies, the elderly, the young, and also the healthy residents, visitors, and workers of Elk Grove Village.

What a vote will mean:

Yes/For vote will ensure that we will protect the environment, the air we need to breathe, the aged, those with existing illnesses-heart, cancer, asthma, COPD, allergies, our children, and the health of all who live, work, and visit in Elk Grove Village, and thus end the horror of woodsmoke emissions that we residents have unwillingly and forcibly endured for many years, will end the trespassing and violating of our land, home, lungs, and well-being from these woodsmoke emissions, and also protect our health, both short-term and long-term, from the negative effects of woodsmoke pollution.

No/Against vote will mean that the air will continue to be poisoned and saturated with woodsmoke emissions (PM2.5) which are medically and scientifically known and confirmed to be extremely dangerous and deadly to breathe because the woodsmoke particles go directly into the our lungs which no filter, no closed door, no closed window, can prevent from happening, and thus continue to force our neighbors and friends to seek some false relief and shelter in their home from the harmful and deadly woodsmoke emissions that aimlessly drift onto our property, into our home, and into our lungs.


In closing, here are some photos taken in Elk Grove Village. The woodsmoke emissions are from a house on Mimosa Lane which has an indoor wood burning fireplace (and this wood burner also has an outdoor wood burning chimenea). We need no words to express the horror, trespass, nuisance and air pollution violations, harm, and resulting illnesses that woodsmoke does to our families, and to all communities. As you view the noxious woodsmoke saturating the air, the land, the homes, and the lungs of nearby Elk Grove Village residents, your anger and disgust will hopefully make you take action to end wood burning in your community too. If you do nothing, you may be the next person to gravely suffer, along with your family members. Taking your young child or elderly parent to the hospital because of woodsmoke will be heartbreaking. But, you can prevent that by taking action now, not in the future.


As the Elk Grove Village board members continue to “take under consideration/advisement”-as of October 21, 2013---action on woodsmoke---like the recent the referendum request-to prohibit or not prohibit-wood burning in the town, the residents continue to suffer from woodsmoke emissions (PM2.5), and are becoming more subject to illness, both short and long term.

What a wonderful and honorable legacy for current Elk Grove Village board members to have, and be remembered for...”We did nothing to end the poisonous and noxious woodsmoke even though we knew about its grave danger to those in our community, and we also ignored and disregarded all the sincere pleas to prohibit it”.  But, we sincerely hope the board members will soon change that aforementioned legacy.  The board members are good people, so we hope they will reconsider very soon, and end woodsmoke in our community.

P.S. Here are more reasons, support, and facts to end wood burning from the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.  On October 1, 2013, the Deseret News published an article where Dr. Brian Moench, President of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment states....."It is long overdue that we consider putting wood smoke into the community airshed as inappropriate. Wood smoke is an extremely toxic, public health hazard", he said, pointing to Environmental Protection Agency numbers that show lifetime exposure to wood smoke is 12 times greater than being exposed to the equivalent amount of secondhand smoke.

Because of the toxicity of the smoke and its ability to permeate nearby homes, Moench said the practice of burning wood or coal in fireplaces or stoves should be snuffed out — just like the backyard incineration of trash and operating a vehicle with excessive emissions
"Routine wood burning should not be allowed for exactly the same philosophical, aesthetic and public health reasons as the prohibition of cigarette smoking in public venues, backyard trash incineration and excessive vehicle emissions," he said. "The smoke from wood stoves, boilers and fireplaces creeps onto adjacent property and into nearby homes, affecting the quality of life and the health of neighbors."




Webmaster.....Normally, readers can "click" on the comments at the end of postings and read the reaction/feedback from other readers of BHA.  We have decided that the comments from this posting are so powerful and dynamic we are posting them on the main site.  Please continue reading these personal and heartbreaking words from those who are affected by woodsmoke.

 Anonymous Anonymous said...
Thank you to the BHA blog Webmaster for posting this important message regarding the harm that comes from all residential and recreational wood burning devices and appliances.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these photos taken by a Breathe Healthy Air supporter are more than evident of the horror that surrounds the life, air and lungs of anyone who lives beside a wood burning neighbour.

These photos show clearly there is no regard for human life or our environment, as the wood burner clearly continues for years his toxic assault on every person in that neighbourhood in Elk Grove Village.

Apparently from the lack of pro-active action by the Board Members and Mayor of Elk Grove Village to Ban/End/Prohibit all wood burning, neither do they have any respect or regard for human life, suffering or the impact that this form of environmental terrorism is having on thousands of residents within that community.

Sadly the suffering will continue unless immediate action is taken by the Mayor and Board Members in the community of Elk Grove Village to end this airborne form of toxic pollution once and for all!!!

Not only must the Mayor of Elk Grove Village take the appropriate action to end this terror and suffering of many souls in the village, but so should every Mayor/Board and Council member in each and every city be accountable, responsible and transparent for their actions and lack of action to end this suffering in every city and communities everywhere.

As mentioned in the letter by the supporter, every individual must speak up and take action also to end wood burning or these pictures will become the everyday life of everyone living in wood burning communities. If not, There will be no clean air to breathe! There will be no standard of good health for one and all! There will be no one to help you when the time comes if you don’t take action today by speaking out against this crime of Woodsmoke pollution in your neighbourhood.

Make presentations to your town/city Mayor and Board/Council members. Attend all possible meetings by making those meetings happen!! Call, Lobby, contact, phone, write and most of all make an appearance to show your interest and concern and the necessity of your community to take action to ban/end/prohibit all forms of biomass burning! Do it today!

Our air is Precious!!! Protect It!, Don’t Pollute it!

Thank you BHA for alerting the world to this necessary wake up call that reaches beyond boarders, miles and continents and is tragically impacting souls world-wide.

From: The Air Is Precious Coalition
Linda Baker Beaudin, Founder.
October 21, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I cannot believe that Elk Grove Village or any town allows wood burning especially knowing the woodsmoke is an airborne carcinogen and trespasses on the property of others in the community. What is wrong with these elected officials? Wood burning belonged in the prehistoric era, not now.
October 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
The photos showing that nasty smoke blowing onto the ground is horrible. The people that live in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, should be screaming at their Mayor and town council to stop all wood burning. Why haven't they done something? If the Mayor and town council keep doing nothing, more children and older adults will get sicker and sicker, and even die!
October 27, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
STOP the wood burning in Elk Grove Village! We live here and the woodsmoke is in the air day and night. The woodsmoke makes my husband very, very ill. I get sick to my stomach from the woodsmoke. My father-in-law has COPD and gasps for almost every breath he takes. The Mayor and board must prohibit wood burning whether it is from an indoor fireplace or burning wood in a fire pit. In Elk Grove Village, you can "see" and smell the nasty air you breathe! We want wood burning to stop ASAP!
October 29, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
As an Elk Grove Village resident who is suffering with lung cancer (never smoked in my life), I was angry when I saw what Mayor Johnson said in the Daily Herald newspaper today. Mayor Johnson said..."We want to be known as the most business-friendly community in the country".

Mayor Johnson should be more concerned about being "family-friendly" and "clean-air friendly" by not permitting wood burning in Elk Grove Village. The woodsmoke in the air is not "healthy-friendly" to me, and others who also have cancer or other illnesses.

Mr. Mayor, time to focus on your first and top priority as Mayor...the health and air of the people of Elk Grove Village!!!!
October 30, 2013 at 3:10 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mayor Johnson stated the Board Members would take the request from the people in Elk Grove Village "under advisement". That apathy and denial of a Public health issue such as Woodsmoke Pollution and breathing the toxic chemicals from such deadly pollution harming every single resident within the Village, is not acceptable.

Mayor Johnson, hopefully you will read the many responses and comments to this appeal to you and the Board Members that directly and clearly state: stop/end/ban/prohibit this airborne pollution from destroying the air quality in your village and harming every soul being made to needlessly suffer due to your lack of caring!

Shame on you Mayor Johnson and shame on Board Members that do not support a total ban on all forms of biomass/wood burning.

Perhaps what the suffering residents of Elk Grove Village should "take under advisement" is the fact that they are no longer willing to support a Mayor and Board that denies them healthy air to breathe.

You are being held accountable for the allowance of such deadly, known, toxic, cancer causing chemicals to fill and pollute the community air on a daily basis!

Mayor Johnson, you join the ranks of other Mayors in many communities that are the Poster Perfect Pictures of what neglect looks like!!!

It is not complicated Mayor Johnson, and yes I am directing this comment to you and the Board Members of EGV in hope you are reading all the comments about you, STOP this horror and toxic pollution of Woodsmoke Pollution once and for all!

People are telling you they are sick, ill, suffering, have cancer and other serious health conditions.

Why do you and the trustees willing to allow residents of your community to suffer even more years of this deadly harm from Woodsmoke polluted air?

You need to be accountable for your lack of action regarding this woodsmoke issue Mayor Johnson and I, others in the Village and people around the world are keeping watching your actions on this matter. It is a matter of protecting the life of a human soul!!!

The next time you take a bike ride perhaps you should concentrate on a tour around the village and breathe in some of the toxic smoke that others do on an hourly, daily, yearly basis. But the difference is you can bike right on past the fire pits and wood burning fireplaces, and in a hurry, if you peddle fast enough. But EGV residents continue to suffer and be made ill Mayor Johnson, cannot move their home out of harms way. They cannot shift the direction of the wind. They cannot avoid the deadly toxins from Woodsmoke by sealing up a vent or window with plastic covering. There is NO place for residents to be safe and there is NO place to hide from the toxic air of woodsmoke.

No community Mayor Johnson, can be "green" "healthy" or considered "environmentally friendly" when the air is so heavy with woodsmoke that you can cut it with a knife, such as the photos presented to you and shown by a supporter in hope you would finally get the message that the people in EGV want this to end!!!!

People are disappointed by your lack of pro-active action regarding this air pollution to our air and our health. We are holding you responsible and accountable for our illness, our suffering and our death due to your absolute neglect regarding this issue of Woodsmoke pollution in EGV!!!

Mr. Mayor, you will continue to be bombarded with facts, photos and requests from many Village residents and others regarding this toxic issue you shamefully sanctioned them to live with.

At present time you still deny the fact that EGV has Woodsmoke Polluted air, but photos do not lie, and the proof of your neglect regarding this toxic situation is in the air!

Enough is enough Mayor Johnson and Board Members, the time is now for you to act on this issue of Woodsmoke polluted air in EGV by banning it all, no exceptions, without further delay before more people become ill, suffer and die from the airborne pollution being caused by wood burning.
November 1, 2013 at 4:41 AM

 Anonymous said...
Hey, your photos of the woodsmoke in the air are definitely the real deal and true! We live somewhat nearby this wood burner and have to put up with his smelly and unhealthy woodsmoke almost every day...and night. Why the village allows anyone to pollute the air with woodsmoke and hurt others on their own property and home is beyond any logical and sane reason. Since the board is "dragging their feet' on this matter, let's have the people voice their opinion by the suggested referendum. Dictatorships should not be what EGV is about. Let the peoples' voices be heard and listened to by having the referendum. What excuse or delay tactic will the village board use this time?
November 9, 2013 at 8:34 AM
Webmaster---The Mayor and Board of Trustees of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, by not prohibiting all wood burning in their community, are neglecting their elected duty to prevent harm and death to all who live in their town.

    Anonymous said...
Let me get this straight. Here in Elk Grove Village, the village trustees allow and permit wood burners to trespass, harm, and break existing air pollution laws by the woodsmoke that is created by wood burning. Even though the trustees also know that woodsmoke causes cancer and affects kids and adults that are already sick, the trustees still won't prohibit wood burning. What is wrong with our trustees? Get off your butts and prohibit wood burning in our town before more people get sick. I am ashamed to say my family has lived in Elk Grove Village for 10 years...and I detest and hate woodsmoke too!!!!
November 10, 2013 at 7:57 PM

 Anonymous said...
Recently, in the Daily Herald newspaper, there have been some letters commenting how people could not open their windows or even take walks outside in Arlington Hts., and other communities, due to the horrible odor and smell in the air. In fact, at a board meeting in Elk Grove Village, a board member stated having the same "air pollution" problem for his town. They were complaining about skunks.

Ironically, all these towns, including my town, Elk Grove Village, also allows wood burning. The woodsmoke created does the same to the air--odor, smelly, but woodsmoke is much more harmful to a person's health than a skunk's smell. Yes, we cannot open our windows and take walks either...because of the woodsmoke in the air!!!!

We may not be able to change the skunk's emissions, but Elk Grove Village (and other towns) can end the woodsmoke's deadly emissions by prohibiting wood burning in the village. Why they have not done so yet, is unbelievable. Elk Grove Village---take action to end this unnecessary "man-made" air pollution!
November 12, 2013 at 5:27 PM

 The Smell From This Skunk Won’t Kill You!

 But, The Smell From This Woodsmoke Can Kill You!

Smoke is composed of many small particles of carbon and other compounds from burning of organic matter such as wood or coal. Wood smoke is made up of over 100 different chemicals and compounds including particulates, carbon monoxide, methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dioxins, lead, cadmium and arsenic. It contains harmful toxins and other substances known to cause cancer. Nationally, about 35% of fine particle pollution comes from the burning of fireplaces and wood stoves. 


Note.....The Mayor of Elk Grove Village is a bike rider. Here is a submission from a Supporter of BHA.

Mayor Johnson, You might like to ride through the streets of Elk Grove Village with a mask on to keep safe from the Woodsmoke polluted air….but we want fresh, clean, healthy air to breathe, without a mask on!!!!

Time to Ban woodsmoke pollution in EGV!!!!

You can’t hide from the woodsmoke pollution Mayor Johnson!

It will follow you everywhere until you ban/end/prohibit it!


The following is a Submission by a Supporter in Elk Grove Village--
November 19, 2013

The Ongoing saga of EGV!  Santa will bypass some homes in Elk Grove Village again this year!

Taking a stroll in EGV?  If you do, go prepared because the toxic, noxious, ever present cancer causing chemicals are in our village air! Woodsmoke permeates and pollutes the air-day and night-in our community.

Self protection is a must due to the fact that the Elk Grove Village Board of Trustees still deny woodsmoke is in the air. They are in denial!

Is this your neighbor wearing a mask for protection (see below)?  What do you do about the children and babies? How will they remain safe from the harm of toxic woodsmoke emissions?

Will the Board of Trustees supply gas masks for each and all residents? Since they refuse to take action to ban woodsmoke and wood burning, then they need to graciously supply community residents with Gas Masks.


Right now, many residents are imprisoned/trapped inside their home suffering from the woodsmoke polluted air, coughing, having severe headaches and short of breath due to the fumes that enter their lungs and homes.

With Christmas just around the corner Gas Masks would make an ideal stocking stuffer and gift from the Board of Trustees! But, in reality, the right thing to do is just prohibit/end all wood burning in the village.

What can one say about such dreadful, horrific neglect from the Board of Trustees of Elk Grove Village?

Just another woodsmoke-filled day in Elk Grove Village. It should not be!
This year, Santa Claus will no doubt miss a few homes due to the smog, haze, and toxic woodsmoke emissions saturating the air of Elk Grove Village, Illinois. 
major cause of pollution and more toxic than cigarette smoke, according to Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE).

The group is calling on the state to ban the burning of wood indoors and outdoors in the most densely populated areas year-round.

In other words, the ban would make it illegal to heat your house or fuel your barbecue with wood.

UPHE president Dr. Brian Moench says some studies suggest that wood smoke may contribute up to 40 percent of the particulate pollution in major Western cities such as Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Seattle.

"We're suggesting that we need to start thinking of wood smoke in the exact same terms as we now think of cigarette smoke in public places, which we have prohibited somewhere around 20 to 25 years ago," Moench adds.

The UPHE and other groups are asking the Utah Air Quality Board to prohibit wood burning.

Moench says part of the challenge is that wood smoke is not a cultural pariah like cigarette smoke or exhaust from a car. He says people tend to like the smell of wood smoke, but adds that the nice smell can cause serious harm to the environment and human health.

"In a lot of people's mind it has a nice aroma to it,” he says. “But if you can think past that aroma, anytime you're around it you might notice yourself, if you get a little of bit stinging eyes, you get a little bit of a scratchy throat. Well that's telling you that something is wrong."

Moench says if the state does not ban wood burning year-round, the UPHE may lobby city council in Salt Lake City to implement a prohibition. - See more at:

Anonymous said...
My wife and I agree 10000% to have Elk Grove Village prohibit all wood burning. My wife has COPD and cannot even take a walk in the village all year round. We live nearby a park, but we cannot even go there to relax. That is not right! We have to keep the air conditioner on all the time during the spring, summer, and fall due to the woodsmoke. Winter is no better because we can smell the woodsmoke even with all the doors and windows closed. Our house is well insulated too! It does not matter. Woodsmoke creeps into it anyway. The Mayor and trustees should get off their butt and take action to end wood burning in Elk Grove Village. What are they waiting for?
November 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

 Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mayor Johnson and the board members of Elk Grove Village have violated their oath of office and duty to protect the people of Elk Grove Village!!!! We are breathing polluted woodsmoke air and they have done nothing to end it. My kids are getting sick and the village does not care. Our community and my family are literally dying, and the Mayor and the board sits idly by and does nothing. We support whoever is trying to get the village to end wood burning. The village board should come by our house on Maple Lane with their family and breathe the smoke that is in the air almost everyday. Then you too can sickened by the woodsmoke!!!!!
November 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Anonymous said...
We have a neighbor on Ridge Ave in Elk Grove Village who has more wood in his backyard than a lumberyard! Piled 5 feet high, the wood covers two sides of his backyard. He burns every moment he can. The woodsmoke looks like London fog it is so bad. My family suffers from headaches, watery eyes, and my spouse has a difficult time breathing. Why does Elk Grove Village allow this? It is like breathing cancer. We want wood burning to not be allowed in our town. Our board is very negligent and uncaring to let wood burning continue. What are they waiting for...more illness and death?????????
December 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM

The below comment was received by BHA today.....
On 3/25/2014, Linda Beaudin wrote:

Being aware of the poor air quality readings in Elk Grove Village, the photos and evidence supporting the claim that this family at their residence and the other families residing nearby are suffering horrendous hours of toxic poison being pumped into their lungs and home are relentless.  In this area people are burning outside in fire pits any time of the day/night.  Wood burning is also taking place inside homes from the use of wood burning fireplaces.

People unfortunately cannot pick up and move out of harms way or many times into another home or area.  The end result, a Mayor and Board members that openly are poisoning people!!!!  This unwanted, unnecessary act of terror continues making this family ill and those in the entire Village.

Since escape and retreat are non-existent, the suffering families are being totally ignored by the Village Board and Mayor Craig Johnson.  Where the Mayor goes to find fresh clean air in the Village remains a mystery because the sick and suffering families don’t have it and they want clean healthy air to breathe, not air polluted with the deadly cancer causing toxins found in woodmsoke pollution.

If one can imagine being forced to breathe the deadly air shown as evidence in the photos here, then please, without further hesitation, imagine what it must feel like for this and other Elk Grove Village residents who have no choice to know that the repetition of this torture being made to breathe day after day, deadly air such as this, is nothing short of GROSS NEGLIENCE be condoned by the Village Mayor and Board!

All residents must support a ban on wood burning from Residential and Recreational wood burning if people are to live a healthy and secure life within their own communities.

It is long overdue that Mayor Craig Johnson and the Village Board Members take into consideration that if they continue with such absolute neglect regarding the toxic, polluted woodsmoke air in Elk Grove Village, they could and yet may face possible legal action.

This story from the resident in the Village represents every single person, who may or may not at present moment live with the horror, terror and assault daily to the human body as they do but could at the moment a For Sale sign goes up on a home.  A home could sell and a new neighbour could move into your area and begin burning!!!! In the blink of an eye, two other homes could sell and two more neighbors could move in and begin more burning.

This means you are then forcefully being poisoned by your own City.

Families are reaching out to Mayor Johnson and the Board members with sincerity, photos, documentation, and results of their suffering from the wood burning toxins in their city, but still are being denied their human right to breathe clean air, air that is woodsmoke-free.

Mayor Johnson will not allow them the freedom of their right to seek that opportunity via a referendum as proposed in the letter by the Elk Grove Village resident.
Mayor Johnson and Board members have been made very aware for years of this serious public Health Issue and known Health Hazard of Woodsmoke pollution, yet they remain oblivious to the ongoing, daily suffering of these families who are presenting these documented facts and continue being made ill, made to suffer and many will have died from woodsmoke-related illnesses.

Mayor Johnson will not even consider the possibility of banning outdoor burning.  There have been absolutely no attempts made to end this suffering of Village residents.

Because it has not happened to you personally, be very thankful, but be warned, that may not always be the case.

To Mayor Johnson:  Heed the call of your community residents.  It is quite obvious from the rudeness you extended in your personal letter to me when I made my presentation to you, that you had no intention of supporting your residents from the harm of Woodsmoke pollution.

As a Mayor, you are a disgrace!!!!!  The tides may turn one day and you may be the person in need of help and there may be no help available to you. Hopefully not, but should cancer ever knock at your door, you may find yourself like another Village resident, who has been told his time on earth is limited due to the type of cancer invading his body.  How much exposure did this man have to woodsmoke pollution in the Village?  How many others are silently suffering because of a selfish Mayor who places his agenda first instead of the residents imploring him to take immediate pro-active action regarding indoor and outdoor burning in the Village.

Many other communities are also being neglected by their Mayors and Board members, while in some communities, finally, positive pro-active action is beginning and leaders are being made aware of the fact that clean healthy air belongs to everyone!  But, not so in Elk Grove Village!  Shamefully, another season passes and now extensive outdoor burning will further degenerate the already poor quality air rating in the Village.

Who will pay the price??  Sadly, every family being made to breathe the known cancer causing chemicals found in Woodsmoke pollution.

Mayor Johnson, there is NO excuse for your rudeness by boldly ignoring these pleas for help regarding the life necessity of clean air to breathe for one and all in your Village.

Yes, you should hang your head in shame but obviously that won’t happen either because you appear to see yourself above the neglect of this suffering community not part of it!

Neglect comes in many forms and Mayor Johnson, you epitomize the word neglect.  It is a word meant for you to wear not as a badge of honour, but as a symbol of disgrace.

It is time for you to protect the air your community residents are breathing, they have suffered long enough!

Mayor Johnson, you now can officially be added to the list Mayors who make the headlines world-wide.  The story of Elk Grove Village is being read around the world by millions who share a concern about the polluted, woodsmoke-filled air we are forced to breathe because the Board of Trustees of Elk Grove Village, do absolutely nothing to prohibit/end/stop wood burning in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, USA. 

What will it take for you to comprehend the urgency and necessity to save your residents from the horror of breathing relentless hours of Woodsmoke?

Have you no heart or compassion for human suffering? Your obvious lack of pro-active action is…..unforgivable!!!

Air Is Precious
Protect It. Don’t Pollute It!
Linda Baker Beaudin, Founder


Sunday, March 23, 2014

CVS to phase out tobacco; why not wood burning products?

CVS drugstores just made history as the first pharmacy chain in the United States to discontinue the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products, according to press releases dated Feb. 5, 2014. Despite projected revenue losses of $2 billion a year because of this move, CVS explained that this as a business decision that is part of their larger shift to strengthen partnerships with the health care system, including hospitals and doctors.
This is an example of how corporations can do their part to improve public health when our governments are slow or reluctant to act. Too often, highly paid lobbyists for manufacturers of environmentally unfriendly products have influenced elected officials and other decision-makers to support these harmful products despite their well-documented harm to public health.

A related issue of even greater magnitude than the need to quell tobacco use, is the need to reduce wood smoke, which now pervades every metro area in America and Canada. The science is clear that wood smoke is chemically almost identical to cigarette smoke. Both contain hundreds of the same carcinogenic chemicals that are also implicated in disease and premature deaths. These include lead, mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, benzene, PAHs and dioxins, some of the most insidious chemicals on earth, according to Dr. Joel Schwartz of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Wood smoke is choking out our cities from residential, recreational wood burning. It is the number one contributor to black carbon soot in most cities--more than from all industrial sources combined, and more than from vehicle exhaust in cooler climates It is so pervasive in our air, that most every citizen is “smoking wood smoke” in theory, and often without their consent. Outdoor public spaces, such as city streets, parks and sidewalks, are often so blanketed with wood smoke that the smoke presents a true physical barrier to many people with breathing disabilities such as asthma, preventing them from accessing public spaces and attending public events. Before the tobacco bans, people could at least choose not to patronize smoking establishments. They do not have this choice outdoors, and even on their own properties when wood smoke is in the air.

With asthma as the number one reason for school absenteeism in metro areas nation-wide, it is time to address wood smoke as an even greater threat to public health than tobacco smoke.
If CVS plans to phase out tobacco products in the interest of public health, we must urge them to also stop selling firewood and outdoor wood burning devices for the same reasons. Email And see for the facts about wood smoke.

By: Julie Mellum
The Wood Smoke Activist Network

Source--The Wood Smoke Activist Network
March 2014 Newsletter

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Truth About Wood Smoke Pollution

The Truth About Wood Smoke Pollution

Even though humans have burned wood for thousands of years, scientists have only recently discovered just how hazardous wood smoke pollution is to our health.

Hundreds of studies have now documented the harmful health effects of wood smoke pollution. Yet many people remain unaware of the facts—or refuse to accept them.

The current situation is similar to the way we used to treat second-hand tobacco smoke—by the time the public finally accepted just how hazardous second-hand smoke was, there had already been incalculable damage to human life.

There’s good reason to be even more concerned about wood smoke pollution than about second-hand tobacco smoke, since it’s more hazardous: according to the US EPA, the lifetime cancer risk from wood smoke is estimated to be 12 times greater than from a similar amount of cigarette smoke.
The time has come for all of us to acknowledge the real dangers of burning wood.


The Environmental Impact of Wood Smoke

Wood smoke is air pollution. It’s as simple as that.
You might think that using your fireplace or woodstove is not a big problem, but wood smoke pollution really adds up: In the winter months, burning wood accounts for more than 30% of the particle pollution in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Wood Smoke Particle Pollution Pie Chart
According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, burned wood releases more particle pollution than the entire region’s vehicles and businesses.
Residential wood burning also produces a laundry list of other pollutants such as mercury, carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides. The VOCs react with nitrogen oxides to form ground-level ozone and with water vapor to form acid rain.
Wood burning is the second largest source of dioxins in the Bay Area. These dioxins end up in the bay, ocean, creeks, and soil, where they accumulate in fish and livestock, poisoning our food supply.


Wood Smoke is Toxic

It would be bad enough if wood smoke was only a major source of hazardous particle pollution.
But wood smoke also contains toxic and carcinogenic substances, including:
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Wood burning also creates dioxin—one of the most toxic substances on earth. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management Agency, one third of the total amount of dioxin in the Bay Area comes from wood burning.


Wood smoke is natural, so it must be okay.

We tend to think that substances that are ‘natural’ are harmless, but this isn’t true.
Asbestos, tobacco, and uranium are just a few of the natural substances that are harmful to human health.
Even though humans have burned wood since the beginning of time, scientists have only recently discovered just how hazardous wood smoke pollution is to our health.
The negative health effects of residential wood smoke have now been extensively documented in hundreds of scientific studies. The pollution generated by wood burning has been linked to a litany of health problems that include asthma attacks, diminished lung function, respiratory ailments, heart attacks, and stroke.

Aren’t there more important environmental issues to worry about?

When it comes to air pollution, not really.
In many locations, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, wood burning is the single largest source of hazardous particle pollution during winter, creating even more particle pollution than vehicles and industry.
In many areas, wood burning is also one of the most significant sources of toxins such as dioxin.
Unlike highly regulated industrial sources of pollution, wood burning occurs right in the neighborhoods where we live—sometimes right next door. This means that people can be subjected to levels of hazardous pollution from wood burning that are far higher than from any other pollution source.

Wood smoke pollution is only a problem for people with asthma.

While the pollution from wood burning is especially dangerous for those with existing health conditions, children, and the elderly, it is hazardous to the health of all human beings.
Studies have shown that even in young, healthy people, exposure to the particle pollution produced by wood burning causes inflammation of the lungs and decreases lung volume.
While the hazardous health effects of wood burning pollution increase with the levels in the air, scientists have found that there is no level of particle pollution that is not unhealthful.
The basic rule of thumb is this: if you can smell wood smoke, you’re breathing pollution that is hazardous to your health.

EPA certified woodstoves are the solution.

While it is true that EPA certified wood stoves may produce less particulate air pollution than uncertified ones when new and operated according to manufacturer specifications, they produce orders of magnitude more particulate pollution than appliances that burn natural gas.
In addition, the stated performance of EPA certified wood stoves degrades with use to the point where the particulate emissions are comparable to non-certified wood stoves.
Another key issue: EPA certified wood stoves emit highly toxic dioxins at levels equal to, or even greater, than levels emitted by conventional wood burning devices.

Wood smoke rises, so what’s the problem?

Most of the harmful pollutants from wood burning don’t rise. They hang around at ground level for up to ten days.
On cold winter days (when people tend to burn wood) the problem is even worse, because the weather conditions create temperature inversions that put a lid over the lower atmosphere, trapping hazardous pollutants close to ground level.

I can just shut my windows and I’ll be fine.

The fine particle pollutants from wood burning are so small that they infiltrate even the most well-insulated and weather-stripped homes. Scientific studies have shown that particle pollution levels inside homes reach up to 70% of the pollution levels outdoors.


Webmaster:  Check out the above website for great information about the deadly effects of woodsmoke on all of us!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Be Still My Racing Heart!!


Angina!  Heart Attack!  Heart Failure!  Cardiac Arrhythmia!

February is Heart Month and a time when we become informed via the news, campaigns and other social media about the impact our lifestyle and the air we breathe have on our pulsating heart.

Research and advanced treatment in Cardiac disease have people living longer and experiencing more productive lives than in the past but new research continues to show that air pollution is closely related to our heart health.
                         Woodsmoke is Air Pollution
What is air pollution?
Air pollution is a broad term applied to all chemical and biological agents that change the natural characteristics of the atmosphere causing harm to health or the environment. Air pollution comes from many different sources (i.e. factories, cars, windblown dust, smoke from wood stoves and backyard burning as well as forces of nature such as forest fires) that release a wide variety of pollutants affecting air quality.  SOURCE:  Air Quality Health Index: British Columbia, Canada.

                 Woodsmoke is associated with:
                              Heart Disease
         Stroke, mini-stroke and Cardiac Arrhythmia.

How does air pollution affect your health?
There are many different types of air pollutants. How air pollution affects your health is determined by the length of time you are exposed, your health status and genetic makeup, and the concentration of pollutants. Air pollution can have a negative effect on your respiratory system ( lungs and airways ) and on your cardiovascular system ( heart function and blood circulation) by;
  • making it harder to breathe,
  • irritating your respiratory system,
  • triggering episodes of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD); chronic bronchitis and emphysema; 
  • triggering episodes of heart conditions (angina, heart attack, heart failure and heart rhythm problems).  SOURCE: Air Quality Health Index: British Columbia, Canada.

             FACTS: WHO World Health Organization  
                      CDVs (Cardiovascular Disease)
        DEATHs from CDVs will increase to reach 23.3 Million by


  • CVDs are the number one cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause .
  • An estimated 17.3 million people died from CVDs in 2008, representing 30% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, an estimated 7.3 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.2 million were due to stroke .
  • Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected: over 80% of CVD deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries and occur almost equally in men and women .
  • The number of people who die from CVDs, mainly from heart disease and stroke, will increase to reach 23.3 million by 2030. CVDs are projected to remain the single leading cause of death.
  • Most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, diabetes and raised lipids.
  • 9.4 million deaths each year, or 16.5% of all deaths can be attributed to high blood pressure . This includes 51% of deaths due to strokes and 45% of deaths due to coronary heart disease. 

What are cardiovascular diseases?

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and they include:
  • coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle;
  • cerebrovascular disease - disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain;
  • peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs;
  • rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria;
  • congenital heart disease - malformations of heart structure existing at birth;
  • deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.
Heart attacks and strokes are usually acute events and are mainly caused by a blockage that prevents blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most common reason for this is a build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the blood vessels that supply the heart or brain. Strokes can also be caused by bleeding from a blood vessel in the brain or from blood clots. 

               OTTAWA HEART INSTITUTE, Canada

OTTAWA, February 3, 2014 – The Ottawa Heart Institute Heart Transplant Program has reached a new milestone. After performing its 500th heart transplant in 2012, the Heart Institute’s team performed Canada’s highest number of heart transplants in 2013 with a striking total of 36 transplants while achieving a 100% survival rate.
 Source:  News Release:  University of Ottawa Heart Institute.  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada's largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease.

We deliver high-tech care with a personal touch, shape the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionize cardiac treatment and understanding. We build knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. We serve the local, national and international community, and are pioneering a new era in heart health

 Atrial fibrillation - Be pulse aware

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition involving an irregular heart rhythm, known as an arrhythmia. It is the most common type of arrhythmia, affecting approximately 350,000 Canadians. Generally, the risk of developing AF increases with age and with other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and underlying heart disease. One of the main complications of atrial fibrillation is stroke. Individuals with atrial fibrillation have a risk of stroke that is 3 to 5 times greater than those without AF.
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation

Is there a connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke?

AF increases your risk of stroke. It is estimated that up to 15% of all strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation. This risk increases with age, so that after age 60, one-third of all strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation. Also, individuals with atrial fibrillation have 3 to 5 times greater risk for ischemic stroke.

With a normal heart rhythm, the heart receives electrical signals from the brain via the sinoatrial (SA) node. The SA node sends impulses to the atria which instructs them to beat. The impulses then make their way to the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles), which pump blood to the rest of the body.

During atrial fibrillation, the atria contract chaotically and in a disorganized manner. Because the atria don't move blood properly, blood pools and gets stuck in the grooves of the heart. This may result in the formation of blood clots, which could get pumped to the brain and result in an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke is caused when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a clot in one of the blood vessels within, or leading to, the brain. Studies show that long-term use of the blood thinner warfarin in patients with AF can reduce the risk of stroke by 70 to 80%

How Smoking Affects Your Cardiovascular Health

Smoking affects your health in a big way. The many harmful chemicals in cigarettes cause damage to nearly every organ in your body, including your heart, blood vessels, mouth, eyes, lungs, bones, reproductive organs, bladder, and digestive organs. This is why smoking causes so many deaths — more than 37,000 Canadians will die prematurely each year from tobacco use and almost 6,300 non-smokers will die from exposure to second-hand smoke.

The nicotine in smoke causes the arteries of your heart to narrow. The carbon monoxide released from cigarettes damages the walls of your arteries, encouraging fat to build up on artery walls.

Smoking also:

·                            Raises your LDL (lousy) cholesterol

·                            Lowers your HDL (healthy) cholesterol

·                            Speeds up your heart rate

·                            Raises your blood pressure

·                            Makes your heart work harder

Any amount of smoking — light, occasional, or second-hand — is dangerous and likely to cause damage to your cardiovascular system. The harmful chemicals from a cigarette can negatively affect the condition and functioning of your heart and blood vessels. For example, nicotine increases your heart rate, while carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) replaces oxygen in your red blood cells. Together, these affect the normal function of your heart, eventually making it work harder. Over time, smoking also causes plaque to build up in your arteries, a decrease in the oxygen in your blood, and increased blood pressure.1, 4 What you face as a smoker if you continue to smoke includes the following:

·                            On average, smokers live 10 fewer years than non-smokers.

·                            Smokers have double the risk for cardiovascular disease compared to non-smokers.

·                            Smokers are up to four times more likely to experience sudden cardiac death than non-smokers.1 
·                            Source:  University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Woodsmoke is Second-Hand Smoke!

Woodsmoke is worse for our health than Tobacco-smoke staying present in the body 40 times longer.

Woodsmoke contains many of the same toxic chemical compounds as those found in Tobacco-smoke!

Woodsmoke from all Residential and Recreational Wood burning contributes to poor air quality!

Woodsmoke is a leading cause of premature death world-wide: Source: WHO (World Health Organization) 

Fine particle pollution has been strongly linked with premature death, heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. In October, the World Health Organization declared that it caused lung cancer.
PM (2.5) Fine Particulate Matter= Sickness, Suffering and premature death! Woodsmoke Kills!!

There is an immediate and necessary urgency for all community leaders to end/ban/prohibit the use of all biomass burning which includes the use of Residential and Recreational wood fuelled devices and appliances. 

Linda Baker Beaudin, Founder
Air is Precious