HSHS St. Anthony’s warns against Leaf Burning

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EFFINGHAM – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is encouraging the public to consider alternative options to leaf burning that are less toxic to the environment and other residents.

St. Anthony’s officials say leaf burning can pollute the air and make it harder for people to breathe. They say this is especially true for those living with asthma, emphysema and other respiratory health concerns.

Medical Director for St. Anthony’s Emergency Services Douglas Kabbes, MD, says inhaling the smoke generated by leaf burning can cause people to get sinus infections or pneumonia. The smoke also has particularly harsh effects on the very young and the elderly.

Kabbes says these are not his only concerns.

“For those with lung disease, asthma, emphysema or those with heart disease, it can be life threatening. Longer term risks include developing heart and lung disease, cancer and others,” Kabbes explains.

St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital urges the public to use alternative options, such as composting or mulching leaves. Kabbes says these alternatives can help nutrients return to the grass.

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