Can chimney smoke cause headaches?

Asked by: Pansy Kuhlman
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Pollutants in wood smoke can cause the eyes, nose and throat to burn with irritation, and even cause headaches, nausea and acute bronchitis in some people.

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Also, Why does fireplace smoke give me a headache?

Inhaling carbon monoxide decreases the body's oxygen supply. This can cause headaches, reduce alertness, and aggravate a heart condition known as angina. Fine particles are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.

Also to know, Can chimney smoke make you sick?. Smoke may smell good, but it's not good for you. The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles, also called fine particulate matter or PM2. 5. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they may cause burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses, such as bronchitis.

Likewise, Is chimney smoke toxic?

Wood smoke can have serious health effects when breathed in. Chemicals are released into the air when people use wood stove and fireplaces. Some of the chemicals may cause cancer, and some may irritate the respiratory tract.

Can wood smoke cause migraines?

Unfortunately, breathing in wood smoke can affect your health and that of others. Some effects can be headaches, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, coughing or difficulty breathing. Children, older adults, and people with heart or lung diseases are most likely to be affected.

19 related questions found

Are wood fireplaces bad for your health?

Although the image of a log fire is often associated with the holidays, romance and cozy nights inside shielded from plummeting temperatures, experts say wood-burning appliances are a threat to lung and heart health. They emit harmful air pollutants and fine particles that can enter the lungs and bloodstream.

Is wood smoke a carcinogen?

Smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other organic matter burn, including over 100 hazardous chemicals that are toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing). When breathed in, these fine particles can lodge in our lungs.

Why is white smoke coming out of my chimney?

The smoke coming out of your chimney should be almost colorless and thin. Thick, white or black smoke indicates that your fire is not receiving enough air. ... Increase air to the fire for cleaner burning. Burn small hot fires and allow plenty of air to reach the fire.

Is fireplace smoke bad for babies?

Wood smoke pollution has been shown to raise the risk of bronchiolitis, a respiratory disorder that is a leading cause of hospitalization in infants, as well as rates of hospitalization for childhood pneumonia and bronchitis.

Is it safe to sleep with a fire in the fireplace?

Can I go to sleep with a fire in the fireplace? You should never go to sleep while a fire is in the fireplace. It may seem safe—after all, the fire is small and controlled behind a metal grate. ... Before going to bed, make sure the fire is completely extinguished.

How can you tell if your chimney needs cleaning?

Here are seven tell-tale signs that indicate your chimney or fireplace needs cleaning:
  1. Your fireplace smells like a campfire. ...
  2. Fires burn oddly. ...
  3. It takes more effort to get a fire going and keep it going. ...
  4. Smoke fills the room. ...
  5. The fireplace damper is black. ...
  6. Fireplace walls have oily marks. ...
  7. There's evidence of animals.

Can a dirty chimney cause carbon monoxide?

Don't Forget About Your Chimney

Your chimney should be regularly inspected and swept so it's clean and absent of obstructions and damage. If not maintained properly, a blocked chimney could lead to carbon monoxide exposure from buildup of combustible gases.

Is creosote bad to breathe?

According to the National Institutes of Health, breathing creosote fumes can lead to irritation of the respiratory tract, which can cause coughing and shortness of breath. People exposed to creosote emissions also have experienced skin irritations that include redness, burning sensations, and rashes.

Is Breathing fireplace smoke bad?

Smoke has a negative effect on your lungs

“Exposure to wood-burning smoke can cause asthma attacks and bronchitis and also can aggravate heart and lung disease.” People with heart or lung diseases, diabetes, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.

How can you tell if a fireplace is safe to use?

A properly operating gas fireplace will have a safe and secure glass enclosure, will ignite without delay, have a clean blueish color flame and will vent properly out through a termination cap that is clear from debris or obstruction.

Does fireplace make house smell like smoke?

The result is that makeup air is pulled down the chimney, which is a big, unrestricted hole in the house. If that happens when you have a fire going, smoke will fill the room. But when there's no fire, you may notice only what some homeowners describe as a “smoky odor” from the fireplace.

How do I protect my baby from fire smoke?

If your children are in an area with bad air quality, take them to an indoor environment with cleaner air, rather than relying on a cloth mask to protect them. Humidifiers or breathing through a wet washcloth do not prevent breathing in smoke.

Can a baby be near a bonfire?

It's advised that babies should not be exposed to fireworks as it can damage their hearing, so if you're taking baby along, then ear defenders are a great idea.

Is BBQ smoke bad for newborn?

Smoke contains several hazardous chemicals, including: Gases, including carbon monoxide (also called CO), a gas that is especially toxic and dangerous for a developing baby.

Should there be smoke coming out of chimney?

If you see or hear any of these things, get out of your house immediately and call 911! Wood stoves and other appliances that have pipe chimneys can experience chimney fires, too. If you can see heavy smoke, light, or flames coming out of the cracks between the sections of chimney pipe, call 911!

What causes a chimney to smoke?

A cold flue or cold air in the chimney is also a common cause for fireplace smoke in the home. When the air inside your flue is too cold, it forces smoke back down into your home because colder air is more dense. ... Doing this will warm up the flue and make way for smoke.

What is the difference between white and black smoke?

White smoke can often mean material is off-gassing moisture and water vapor, meaning the fire is just starting to consume material. White smoke can also indicate light and flashy fuels such as grass or twigs. Thick, black smoke indicates heavy fuels that are not being fully consumed.

Is wood smoke worse than tobacco smoke?

The components of wood smoke and cigarette smoke are quite similar, and many components of both are carcinogenic. EPA researchers estimate the lifetime cancer risk from wood smoke to be 12 times greater than from a similar amount of cigarette smoke.

Is smoke from wood bad for you?

How does wood smoke affect health? ... Short-term exposure (over hours or days) to high levels of wood smoke may cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, aggravate asthma or worsen heart disease. If you can smell wood smoke you are being exposed and may be at risk of adverse health effects.

Is cigarette smoke worse than fire smoke?

And wood smoke produces far more particulate pollution than cigarette smoke does. ... Other EPA estimates suggest that a single fireplace operating for an hour and burning 10 pounds of wood will generate 4,300 times more carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons than 30 cigarettes.