Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 5
 
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
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Human Services Commission Grateful for Gift Bags From Princeton Rotary

CYNTHIA MENDEZ
Executive Director, Princeton Human Services Commission
CLAIRE JACOBUS
Chair, Princeton Human Services Commission

Wood Smoke From Fireplaces Exposes Many to Risks of Respiratory Ailments

LUDMILLA POPOVA-WIGHTMAN
Balsam Lane


Human Services Commission Grateful for Gift Bags From Princeton Rotary

To the Editor:

On behalf of Princeton Township and Princeton Borough Municipal Welfare Departments/Princeton Human Services Commission, we extend our thanks and appreciation to the Princeton Rotary for the gift bags that they provided to our clients during the holiday season. This was the third season that the Rotary provided these gifts bags. Everyone was most appreciative of the personal care products that were given.

In these tough economic times with extremely limited incomes, the items that the Rotary provided were needed. For most of our clients, it made a tremendous difference in how they were able to spend what money they had.

A resounding thank you to the Princeton Rotary and its members for keeping these individuals in mind and providing them with a gift bag that for some was the only gift they received during the holiday season.

CYNTHIA MENDEZ
Executive Director, Princeton Human Services Commission
CLAIRE JACOBUS
Chair, Princeton Human Services Commission

Wood Smoke From Fireplaces Exposes Many to Risks of Respiratory Ailments

To the Editor:

To all Princetonians who burn wood in their fireplaces and fill the air of our town with smoke, a fine particulate matter, please know that Science magazine calls wood smoke “a stew of six carcinogens.”

Particulate matter, or PM, is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. These particles can cause coughing and painful breathing, and can aggravate asthma.

Sources of fine particles include all types of combustion from motor vehicles, power plants, wood burning, etc., and some industrial processes. Sources of coarse particles include crushing or grinding operations and dust from paved or unpaved roads.

What are the health effects and who is most at risk?

When exposed to PM in wood smoke, people with existing heart or lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart disease, or ischemic heart disease are at increased risk of premature death or admission to hospitals or emergency rooms.

The elderly also are sensitive to wood smoke exposure. They are at increased risk of admission to hospitals or emergency rooms and premature death from heart or lung diseases.

When exposed to PM in wood smoke, children and people with existing lung disease may not be able to breathe as deeply or vigorously as they normally would, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.

Wood smoke can increase susceptibility to respiratory infections and can aggravate existing respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, causing more use of medication and more doctor visits.

LUDMILLA POPOVA-WIGHTMAN
Balsam Lane

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