• <h4 class="dechead">On One Hand: EPA Recommends

    According to Helen Suh MacIntosh of and professor of environmental health at Harvard University, "...test reports have shown Duraflame and Java Logs to burn cleaner than cut cord wood, with substantially lower emissions of numerous air pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, dioxin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). As a result of these notably lower emissions, many local environmental agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that people use manufactured logs in place of cut cord wood in their fireplaces."

    On the Other: Burning Polutes

    Uncovering data on fire log toxin levels is cloudy. Only a couple of websites pointed to negative effects, and they offered no real data. One was from a grilling website, the other from an environmental website that believes people should use only gas, propane or wood pellet appliances. It's true, anything burned gives off an emission and therefore is technically a polluter. Fire logs do contribute to bad air quality, but so does wood burning. For this reason, environmental agencies still prefer burning manufactured logs over wood.

    Bottom Line

    Many well-made fire logs exist on the market today. These fire logs omit well below the level of harmful chemicals so you should feel safe to enjoy them as easily as you do driving your car. Among the best fire logs on the market, you can also choose from all-natural logs made from vegetable wax, coffee or vegetable by-products, designed for the environmentally conscious consumer.


    Helen Suh MacIntosh; Environmental Health Professor, Harvard University; Campbridge, Massachusetts

    James E. Houck; OMNI Environmental Services; Beaverton, Oregon

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