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Wood heating, main cause of winter smog

Actu - Saviez vous que... Feu vert

There's only one problem with a romantic evening in front of a wood fire: air pollution.

When wood burns, dozens of hazardous tozins are released into the air, including fine particles, carbon monoxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds. 

These substances – some of which may be mutagenic or carcinogenic or both – have been linked to a worsening of such health problems as:

  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • emphysema
  • heart disease

Fine particles from wood burning also:

  • decrease air quality
  • are the main cause of winter smog

A conventional wood stove burning for only nine hours emits as many fine particles as a car does in one year (18,000 km of driving). There are more than 85,000 woodstoves and fireplaces on the island of Montreal, making the situation particularly problematic. 

To encourage Montreal Island residents to get rid of their old stoves and fireplaces, the Feu vert program was created. Funded by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, and administered by Equiterre, the program offers a financial incentive to residents who remove or replace their old wood-heating appliances.*

For more information on the Feu vert program, visit

*Only residents of the island of Montreal are eligible for this program. Some conditions apply.