Smoke From Outdoor Wood-Fired Boilers Can Be A Health Hazard

Wisconsin is a leader in the number of outdoor wood-fired boilers

Published on: Nov 14, 2013

While Wisconsin lacks statewide regulation of residential wood smoke, about 200 local municipalities have some type of ordinance regulating wood smoke, making it easier to resolve smoke-related conflicts. If your community does not have an ordinance, Liebl and Sanford recommend that you work with your local village, township, city or county officials to develop an OWB/Open Burning Ordinance. Adopting such an ordinance will reduce the likelihood of exposure to OWB emissions, and provide a way to resolve conflicts.

If you are an individual dealing with a health or nuisance issue related to OWBs, you can take these steps:
--Meet with the OWB owner/operator to discuss the exposure problem.
--Check for proper stack height and property line setbacks.
--Review OWB fueling practices with the operator.
--Make sure nothing but clean dry wood is used as fuel (no trash or other materials).

If you are unable to resolve the OWB emission exposure issue, your local health department may be able to provide assistance.

Here is a list of resources on OWBs and wood smoke.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services:
If you have questions about the health effects of OWB smoke emissions, contact DHS Rob Thiboldeaux at 608-267-6844
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources:

US-Environmental Protection Agency:

Grand Rapids, WI wood smoke study:

UW-Extension: as it is updated, please be sure to check out the Naedler Farm Benefit on Facebook or questions may be sent to  We are also especially excited that Thrivent Financial will be providing Supplemental Funds for the event.  Please help contribute to this worthy community service project.

Source: UW-Extension