Effects of operating variables on PAH emissions and mutagenicity of emissions from woodstoves

J Air Waste Manage Assoc. 1992 May;42(5):691-4. doi: 10.1080/10473289.1992.10467021.


As part of the Integrated Air Cancer Project, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted field emission measurement programs in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Boise, Idaho, to identify the potential mutagenic impact of residential wood burning and motor vehicles on ambient and indoor air. These studies included the collection of emission samples from chimneys serving wood burning appliances. Parallel projects were undertaken in instrumented woodstove test laboratories to quantify woodstove emissions during operations typical of in-house usage but under more controlled conditions. Three woodstoves were operated in test laboratories over a range of burnrates, burning eastern oak, southern yellow pine, or western white pine. Two conventional stoves were tested at an altitude of 90 m. One of the conventional stoves and a catalytic stove were tested at an altitude of 825 m. Decreasing burnrate increased total particulate emissions from the conventional stoves while the catalytic stove's total particulate emissions were unaffected. There was no correlation of total particulate emissions with altitude whereas total polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions were higher at the lower altitude. Mutagenicity of the catalytic stove emissions was higher than emissions from the conventional stove. Emissions from burning pine were more mutagenic than emissions from oak.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Heating*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mutagens / chemistry*
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Rats
  • Wood*
  • p-Aminohippuric Acid / analysis*
  • p-Aminohippuric Acid / toxicity


  • Air Pollutants
  • Mutagens
  • p-Aminohippuric Acid