Jo-Anne St. Vincent is a nurse and CAE at the Children’s Asthma Education Centre in Winnipeg.
Q. My husband and I are hoping to put in a gas fireplace. Is it correct to assume this would be safer than wood-burning since our son has moderate, controlled asthma?
Jo-Anne St. Vincent:
Wood-burning fireplaces can expose family members to a number of environmental triggers including smoke and mould. Exposure to these triggers on an ongoing basis may affect your son’s asthma control.
Unfortunately, a gas fireplace can also affect air quality. Gas burning fireplaces emit nitrogen oxide, which can increase airway inflammation. Ultimately, a gas fireplace would be the better choice. Proper maintenance of any fireplace, however, is of the utmost importance. If installing, have this done professionally and get it inspected yearly. Ensure both the fireplace and the room it is in are well-ventilated.
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