Wood smoke contains some nasty chemicals
There are many common fire hazards in your home, but this health hazard concerns the smoke from that cozy fire. Wood smoke actually contains some pretty potent toxins, including benzene, formaldhyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), according to the EPA. It also adds particulates to the air, which can harm your lungs.
You could end up with carbon monoxide poisoning
One of the biggest dangers of fireplaces is also one of the hardest to detect: carbon monoxide. “Carbon monoxide is the odorless, colorless toxic byproduct of burning fuel,” says Ian Tong, MD, chief medical officer for Doctors on Demand. “It competes for space in red blood cells with oxygen. So even a small amount can impact your body’s ability to carry oxygen to the cells. Exposure to this gas can literally poison or suffocate you without warning, but it can also cause numerous symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea.” To minimize the risk, install carbon monoxide detectors and sit away from the fireplace.