- Wood burning stoves have become popular in middle-class homes and hotels
- But they could soon be banned under new radical laws aimed to reduce pollution
- Sadiq Khan is seeking powers to prohibit all wood burning in parts of the capital
Wood burning stoves could be banned under radical new laws aimed to reduce pollution across urban areas, it emerged last night.
Sadiq Khan is seeking powers to prohibit all wood burning in parts of the capital where air quality is poor.
The mayor of London has written to environment secretary Michael Gove seeking new powers to tackle sources of air pollution, according to the Times.
It would mean tighter restrictions on the wood-burning stoves, with only low-emission versions allowed to stay on sale.
Wood burning stoves (pictured) could soon be banned under radical new laws aimed to reduce pollution
The stoves have become popular in middle-class homes and hotels, with 1.5 million across Britain and 200,000 sold annually.
Wood burning is most popular in the southeast, where 16 per cent of households use the stoves compared with less than five per cent in northern England and Scotland.
But recent research suggested that that the fumes emitted are highly toxic.
In January, King’s College London found that during a period of very high air pollution, domestic wood burning contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the city.
Yesterday he mayor said he wished to ‘protect those people that have bought wood burning stoves in good faith’ but wanted powers to ban burning of any wood or coal in ‘zero-emission zones’.
Sadiq Khan (pictured) is seeking powers to prohibit all wood burning in parts of the capital where air quality is poor
These zones could be created in 187 areas across London where pollution exceeds European limits.
Mr Khan’s letter stated that councils should have powers to enforce the ban, including the ability to carry out inspections and issue fines.
In recent years many people have switched to wood burning because they believe it is greener than using gas boilers – but a wood stove can emit billions of tiny toxic particles that pollute the surrounding area.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the smoke from wood burning stoves contains the toxic pollutant formaldehyde, which has been linked to cancer.