Fireplaces Lose Status To Environmental and Health Concerns

Brand New Images | Getty ImagesGreenTracker| When Claude Arpels. grandson of one of the founders of VanCleef & Arpels says that a wood-burning fireplace in the city is a “ridiculous luxury”, the topic of fireplaces as a status symbol has moved front and center in the Smart Sensuality values debate.

The NYTimes tackles the trend in The Love Affair With the Fireplace Cools.

A crackling fire is cosy, comforting, romantic and inspiring to our senses. Fire is a divine gift, stolen from Zeus by Prometheus, for the benefit of humanity.

Today the fireplace is joining bottled water and MacMansions as trapping of self-centered, Modern values me-types, who ignore the reality that fireplaces pollute our air with tiny particles that trigger heart attacks and inflammation.

Even the American Lung Association recommends that consumers avoid wood fires altogether.

Wood smoke contains some of the same particulates as cigarette smoke, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, as well as known carcinogens like aldehydes; it has also been linked to respiratory problems in young children. via NYT

Looking for alternatives to wood, we’re reading about java logs, made from recycled coffee grounds. On the Pine Mountain website, there’s a discussion of emissions from these logs versus oak and fir products.