Woman ‘bothered’ by air quality

Frank Gale
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Residents to be conscious of what they’re burning: mayor

Wendy Wells is concerned about air quality issues in Stephenville after experiencing breathing diffuculties and nausea she believes is caused by something that was being burned.

After experiencing difficulty breathing and nausea from some type of air pollution for three separate days within a two-week period, Wendy Wells thought it was time to speak up.

The Stephenville woman, who works out of L.S. Eddy Memorial Complex on Gallant Street and lives on Glendale Street, said her first sign of trouble came while walking home during her lunch hours.

“It bothered my breathing and it really seems like some type of chemical you get a strong smell from,” said Wells. “I called the town to find out what it is and hopefully they can get a stop put to it.”

She said it was a mild reaction for her, but wonders what it’s like for someone with bad allergies.

Town officials told her the problem could stem from something people are burning, but Wells said she has no problem with people burning wood in stoves. She said this is something different and has a plastic odour.

Mayor Tom O’Brien said, in addition to Wells, the town also received another complaint about air quality issues in the centre area of Stephenville. He is now asking residents of the town to be conscious of what they are burning in wood stoves.

O’Brien said the only thing this problem can be traced to is household garbage items being burned in wood stoves.

Exhaust and fumes from what’s being burned could have negative impacts on neighbours and the person or family in the house where the material is being burned.

O’Brien said burning household items could be releasing toxic fumes into the atmosphere, having a negative affect on people’s health in the long term and an immediate impact on people that suffer from allergies or respiratory problems. He said what goes out through chimneys can be carried into neighbouring homes through air exchangers. O’Brien said there is a reason why incinerators, which burned household garbage, were banned in the province due to the the toxins they emitted into the air.

Geographic location: Stephenville, Gallant Street, Glendale Street

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