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Sentinel Tribune
Westbrook, Minnesota
March 13, 1991     Sentinel Tribune
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March 13, 1991

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i ii i Kerosene heaters don't improve indoor life As the weather warms up some people will want to substitute temporary use of space heaters for day-round central heating. They may also use a sphce heater to temporarily supplement central heating in very cold weather or in seldom used areas. Here are 5 good reasons to avoid choosing an unvented kerosene heater for those purposes. There are products the heater emits into the indoor air when it is operating. Carbon monoxide Formaldehyde Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen dioxide Water vapor Carbon monoxide is the quiet killer. It makes you feel warm and sleepy as it builds up in your blood. And then you may not wake up at all. Or you may wake up with a dull headache or with central nervous system symptoms such as little strokes, seizures, or night terrors, etc. Carbon monoxide will increase dramatically during the burning if there is an inadequate amount of oxygen or fresh air in the room to allow combustion to .proceed efficiently. It is very tmportant to open a window or supply combustion air by some other method when the heater is operating. A caution on the d rections for use recommend limiting use to a well ventilated area because of the risk of indoor air pollution. Formaldehyde is a gas that reacts with the body proteins to produce eye, skin or upper respiratory irritation. It can sensitize a person so that they have allergic-type reactions to very small amounts of the chemical just as if the amounts were much greater. Formaldehyde is also present in many household interior materials such as manufactured wood products, paneling, some carpets, etc. So even small increases in the amount of formaldehyde in indoor air may make a significant impact on the occupant's health. It is the subject of continuing research because it has been shown to cause animal cancer and is suspected of being a cause of cancer in humans, as well. Sulfur dioxide is a severe irritant which produces fluid build-up in the lung and can thus cause death. Some individuals are believed to be more susceptible to its effects than others. For instance, it may provoke asthma attacks in some people, while it does not affect others. Nitrogen dioxide is the cause of the fatal "silo fillers' disease", when found in large amounts. Kerosene heaters emit a mixture of nitrogen dioxide and other oxides of nitrogen. In the concentrations us . lly. found in kerosene heater em ssrons, mixed oxides of nitrogen can be expected to produce only irritation or slight collection of fluids in the lungs. Excess water vapor will encourage the growth of mold and mildew in areas where it is found. Some molds can produce human health problems, and many will degrade structural materials. High humidity also increases the production of house dust mites and other microorganisms to which people may have allergic-type reactions. When the moisture migates into the walls during cold weather, the resulting frost can damage the structure. There are no residential standards for indoor air that establish the level and duration of these pollutants that people can adapt to. In some cases the kerosene heaters emit levels of pollutants that exceed the outdoor standards. In addition to causing these indoor air quality problems, kerosene heaters are a fire hazard the structure and a burn hazard to humans and pets. They are illegal for use in bedrooms in Minnesota for all these reason. In some states they are illegal for use anywhere in the home. Live a long and safe life. Avoid the use of unvented kerosene heaters in the home. Your prosperity - decade of the 90's The 1990 Farm Bill will have major effects on farm markets and world feed grain supplies during the next five years. Your Pro speritv - Decade of 90's, presented by Dr. John F. Marten, staff economist for Farm Journal magazine, will address the implication of the 1990 Farm Bill. Marten will also discuss the CATT negotiation talks and the global market concept. Marketing trends during the next several years will be the main focus of the presentation. This presentation will be offered at two sites. The meeting will be held at the Jackson Best Western from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The afternoon session will be at the St. James American Legion from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Both session are March 6. The preregistration fee will be $30/person or $45/couple. This session will entitle you to one Farm Business Management Credit from the Southwestern Technical College at no additional charge. This program is coordinated and sponsored by the Minnesota Extension Service, Farm Business Management, and Southwestern Technical College. Contact these agencies for preregistration forms and information brochures. Westbrook and Walnut Grove plus tax t Ww r Photo by Marian JohnSO