LETTER: Burning of garbage a problem in Trout Creek

Summerland Council asked to address issue within community

Dear Editor:

I would like to call the attention of Summerland Council to the burning of garbage in peoples’ fireplaces in Trout Creek.

I would especially like the mayor to take note of this issue and Coun. Erin Trainer as she lives in Trout Creek and her profile on the council page says that she is an advocate for healthy living.

After all the fires in the summer of 2018 I thought I could open my windows and have some fresh air in the house. I only had an opportunity of two weeks before people started to put their fireplaces on and toss their garbage into it with the result of burning plastics and other substances.

READ ALSO: Open fire ban rescinded in Kamloops, Okanagan, but local bylaws still in effect

READ ALSO: BC Wildfire Service urges people to be careful with fire use over long weekend

The smell of chemical off-gassing from the burning of peoples’ trash in their fireplaces is so strong that I believe it is a health risk to go outside at these times.

I live on Nixon Road. and recently, the smell of burning plastics and chemicals was strong. I have refrained from walking at night when this occurs.

This is the second year I have been here and experienced the burning of trash in the evenings.

I’ve spent 20 years in Osoyoos prior to moving to Trout Creek and the city took the burning of trash seriously.

I don’t know if you have anyone looking after this issue or if the city is aware of the serious effects burning household trash?

In a nutshell, the burning of garbage releases styrene gas, dioxins and furans. These substances damage the nervous system, the kidney, the liver, and the reproductive system.

They do not disappear, they go into the land and into the water and then eventually back into our drinking system.

Even the simple act of burning paper towel which appears harmless enough, releases halogenated hydrocarbons.

Please see the below document for a clear understanding of what occurs with any kind of garbage that is burned in a fireplace. Even magazines are suspect and leave heavy metals.

zendergroup.org/docs/health_effects_burning_trash.pdf

I appreciate your time and your attention to this issue.

Teresa A. Cowan

Summerland

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