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Letters: Beaches without bonfires

August 15, 2012
  • Members of the Sasser-Williams family roast marshmallows as they gather around a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey. Of the 108 state parks and beaches in California, only 24 allow fires, and some have early curfews.
Members of the Sasser-Williams family roast marshmallows as they gather… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Re "Throwing cold water on the romance of beach bonfires," Aug. 10

Gale Holland's article about Newport Beach's ban on beach bonfires is all about provoking emotion with no mention of scientific research about wood smoke.

Does Holland know that wood smoke is many times more carcinogenic than tobacco smoke? Wood smoke is known to trigger asthma attacks and can cause heart attacks and strokes. What about the research out of

UC Berkeley linking wood smoke to pneumonia and poor cognitive development in children? Holland doesn't even mention the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Rule 445, which bans new indoor and outdoor wood-burning fireplaces.

There always will be people who discount facts, but perhaps The Times could publish something more balanced about the health effects of wood smoke.

Barbara A. Peters

Corona del Mar


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