Wood Heat and Your Health: Invitation to Participate in Survey

TULALIP – Fires have a long cultural tradition at Tulalip, and heating a home with wood is both affordable and comfortable. But wet wood, an old stove, a broken seal, or even just cold outside air means our cozy fires can create too much smoke and soot. When this happens, some in our community can be at risk of asthma episodes and even premature heart attacks.  For our kids, woodsmoke is one reason they cough, wheeze and get more infections in the wintertime, when we use wood heat more often. For adults with asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, woodsmoke is known to put more of those folks in the hospital. Others at risk include elders, because woodsmoke weakens their body’s ability to fight off infections.

The good news is that there are things we can do to burn cleaner and safer. In fact, there are many solutions, like drying (seasoning) your wood, upgrading to a new wood stove, or using the clean-burning Presto type log.  The Tulalip Air and Indoor Environment program wants to know which solutions work best here at Tulalip, so that we can then seek grants and resources. To do this, we’d like to invite those who rely on wood heat (burn more than four times a week), and have a tribal member living in the home, to participate in a survey. It takes about 35-40 minutes and can be done on-line or over the phone. When you are finished, we will send you a $30 gift card. Our goal is to learn more about burning practices, firewood use, and health effects. (All information will be confidential and will be used to help us find programs and funding for cleaner wood heat.)

To find out if you are eligible to participate in the survey, please contact Gillian Mittelstaedt, Tulalip Air and Indoor Environment Program, at (206)512-3293, or by email: gillianmitt@hotmail.com