Burning driftwood makes dangerous smoke

Re: “Beach fires a safe and fun tradition,” letter, June 2.

Fond memories of beach fires? How romantic. How dangerous!

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The letter-writer is obviously unaware of the dangers of burning salt-contaminated wood. Highly persistent and carcinogenic dioxins and furans are produced when materials containing chlorine, such as salt-laden driftwood, are burned by incomplete combustion.

I encourage anyone who is thinking of using salt contaminated driftwood as a fuel for beach fires, fireplaces or anything else to go to sources such as the Mother Earth News article dated March 30, 2009, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment website or the B.C. Lung Association website.

The lung association says it best: “Never burn wood that has been taken from salt water. Chlorine combines with the smoke to produce dioxins and furans, which are dangerous carcinogens.”

Kel Hicke



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