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Pollution fears as economising Greeks burn wood for fuel

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 00:58

Jan. 9 - Facing economic hardship, Greeks are burning wood for fuel potentially endangering the environment and their health. Simon Hanna reports.

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This is becoming an increasingly common sight in Greece. Facing economic hardship, more and more residents are turning from expensive heating fuels to burning wood for fuel. The switch is causing problems for the environment, as wood smoke can contain potentially harmful pollutants that have been linked to respiratory and heart problems. The centre for disease control and prevention says the use of wood is likely to increase even further in the coming months as the weather gets colder. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. DIMITRIS ILIOPOLOUS OF THE CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: "The situation is going to be more serious over the next two or three months because we expect to have low temperatures." The young and elderly are most at risk from the pollution. This pensioner though says the government should reduce the price of heating oil so people can afford it. Opposition parties in Greece have also asked for a reduction of tax on heating oil, but the government says it has not plans to do so in these times of austerity.

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Pollution fears as economising Greeks burn wood for fuel

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - 00:58