ETHICS CASE: Air Pollution from Homes

  • Should we restrict recreational causes of soot pollution?

    "The issue: Many communities are trying to do their part to reduce the level of black carbon pollution in the air. It is difficult for a small city or town to restrict driving or to impose pollution regulations on trucks and automobiles. However, another source of soot is from the burning of wood in fireplaces and charcoal briquets in barbeques.

    "Some communities have imposed a ban or sharp restriction on the recreational use of wood-burning fireplaces and barbeques. It is unclear whether these new regulations will be enforceable, nor how effective the new ordinances will be in reducing emissions. However, one could easily argue that these recreational activities are non-essential, and that anything which will help reduce soot production is worth trying."

    Some basic principles might emerge from discussion:

    The issue was downloaded from a more extensive case study on indoor and outdoor pollution from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Project.

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