Ban on dirty household fire fuels to tackle air pollution

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The most polluting fuels used for log burners and open fires will be banned to tackle air pollution.

Plans to reduce people’s exposure to particulate matter, which is rated the most damaging pollutant, are set out today in a new strategy announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Michael Gove has called for action on emissions from a variety of sources, including in the home, as he set out plans to reduce people's exposure to particulate matter - considered the most damaging pollutant. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire.

Michael Gove has called for action on emissions from a variety of sources, including in the home, as he set out plans to reduce people's exposure to particulate matter - considered the most damaging pollutant. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire.

Stoves and open fires have become the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions and so only the ‘cleanest’ stoves will be allowed to go on are on sale by 2022.

The Government also intends to restrict sales of wet wood for domestic burning and apply sulphur and smoke emission limits to all solid fuels.

Sales of bituminous or traditional house coal may also be phased out.

Ministers predict the measures will cut costs of air pollution to society by £1.7bn every year by 2020, rising to £5.3bn a year by 2030 due to savings from public health benefits.

Mr Gove said: “While air quality has improved significantly in recent years, air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life.”

The Clean Air Strategy also includes changes to existing smoke control laws and new powers for local authorities to act in high pollution areas, and plans to reduce ammonia emissions from farming.