Here is some information about the environmental effects from burning a HearthStone EPA certified wood burning stove.
Since 1988, wood stoves have been regulated by the EPA and local agencies. Our lines of modern stoves emit a fraction of the particulate matter than older, non certified or non functioning catalytic stoves. You can be proud to be heating using the most basic renewable, Carbon Neutral energy source available.
Here are the facts:
Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource. Other “bio fuels” require high energy processing, transportation and packaging.
When a tree rots naturally or burns, the carbon contained in the wood is released back to the atmosphere. There is no additional carbon released from burning than from rotting.
Trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth. Through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their wood. Although old trees contain huge amounts of carbon, their rate of sequestration has slowed to a near halt. A young tree, although it contains little fixed carbon, pulls CO2from the atmosphere at a much faster rate. Young forests outperform old growth in carbon sequestration.
North Americans are the world’s largest per-capita wood consumers and yet our forests cover approximately the same area of land as they did 100 years ago. According to the United Nations, North American forests have expanded nearly 100 million acres over the past decade.
To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic — heavy carbon emitters through their production.
As long as modern, efficient stoves are used correctly with seasoned, dry wood and hot fires wood heat shouldn't create problems for healthy people.
Some of the above data are excerpts from: Patrick Moore- Co-Founder- Greenpeace