Are Fireplaces the reason behind the DMV area's abysmal readings?

I can’t speak for the rest of the U.S., but the entire DMV area is littered with readings in the 80s, 90s, and 100s. Stepping outside our residence in Clarksburg, MD - I can see… or rather smell why - firewood burning. This basically makes stepping out for a simple walk unbearable for around 5 months of the year - irrespective of whether you have asthma, or not - I’m fairly new to air quality monitoring, but is this what’s going on? Are we as a society continuing to suffer through bad air quality, because we’ve accepted fireplaces as being benign? And is this the reason why the numbers are so high all over the tri-state DC area?


I think the DMV area, being heavily populated, is subject to a lot regional air pollution effects, i.e. cars, buses, industry, etc. And yes, fireplaces too, but that may not be the only contributor. But it’s not hard to see, and smell, what a nuisance they can be to trying to enjoy the outdoors, without having to put your health at risk. My neighbor heats his house with wood, so I’m all too well familiar with that contributor to bad air.


P.S. I did notice the DMV area is all green at the time of this posting, possibly because of a clean air wind from the NW, pushing all that to the southeast. Same in my area, whereas anything south brings the yellows and reds.

I’m not sure there is enough particulate matter from people using their fireplaces to cause more than a small bump in purple air / air monitor readings vs. the main drivers of pm2.5 pollution.

Maybe not on a regional level - but some definitely, in my view - it all mixes into the dirty soup that we often have to breath in each day. Locally, though, much more. My neighbor will push my meter 100’s of points higher than surrounding ones, when using their fire place.

and I’m guessing that we have zero legal recourse, eh? It’s really a pity. We bought a new home in a nice community, thinking that we’ll be taking outdoor walks every evening, as a family. So much for that.

probably, for fire places (zero legal recourse). Although I’ve seen cases where open yard waste burning was prohibited, or scaled back, out of pollution concerns, when working with city hall. Hopefully there will be days where the regional and local pollution are acceptable. That is what the purple air sensor is for, since often those times can be just a few hours.

It’s kind of the luck of the draw on local pollution sources - hard to tell what will be encountered from neighbors until actually there. I’d be pretty hesitant to move into a community, though, where open yard waste burning is allowed - becomes a smoke fest each fall, and spring