We are AWSI

This website deals with the issues surrounding wood smoke air pollution from open burning, indoor appliances and outdoor wood boilers. Knowledge of the issues can impart greater enjoyment of life, property and community. This site features specific information as to:

  • Wood smoke emissions, health effects and exposure
  • Wood smoke observations to monitor, record and report wood smoke air pollution in terms of particulate (soot), visible and odorous emissions 
  • Wood smoke air pollution related laws and complaints and
  • Wood smoke resource material such as sample ordinances and guides

AWSI – the Allegheny Wood Smoke Initiative comprises a group of concerned individuals and others that promote wood smoke education and the knowledge of wood smoke issues. AWSI provides information as to monitoring, recording and reporting illegal wood smoke emissions. AWSI advocates for compliance to wood smoke air pollution violations under Federal, State, County and Municipal laws and ordinances. AWSI may act through letters, calls and meetings with communities, representatives and officials regarding wood smoke air pollution.

AWSI encourages everyone to protect our health and quality of life and curtail wood burning and carcinogenic wood smoke air pollutants in neighborhoods:

  • By stopping or minimizing wood burning in lieu of gas or electric devices in recognition of the serious health effects of wood smoke such as cancer, asthma, and cardiac and respiratory disease
  • By publicizing wood smoke issues
  • By advocating for the inspection, compliance or court process on wood smoke complaints and
  • By encouraging political, government and inter-governmental actions on compliance and change as to wood smoke air pollution.

Man’s Worst Enemy!

Image result for logo stop wood smoke

Note: According to the American Lung Association’s 21st annual “State of the Air” report released April 21, 2020, of 229 U.S. metro areas the Pittsburgh region ranks 8th worst in the nation for annual particulate known as PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5 microns in diameter), a carcinogen. Scientific studies link particle pollution e.g., PM2.5 exposure – short and long term – to an array of very serious respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological and other health issues. Residential wood burning in Allegheny County accounts for about 20% of the PM2.5 emissions. The above cited efforts can:

  • Lessen emissions and foster reduction and maintenance of PM2.5 levels or attainment of PM2.5 standards in non-attainment areas
  • Promote a better, healthier life, and the full use of and enjoyment of one’s property and community.