Nan McKenna, Public Affairs Specialist
Hamilton County Dept. of Environmental Services
Like the temperature, the leaves are falling. While many enjoy the changing colors of foliage in the fall, they detest the clean up and disposal of leaves. Some choose to get rid of their leaves by burning them. Open burning is not only harmful to people's health and the air quality, it is illegal in Ohio.
Leaves and plant materials send millions of spores into the air when burned, aggravating the allergies of people in the area. Open burning releases hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and particulates into the air. Exposure to these pollutants can lead to breathing difficulties and increased asthma attacks. Dioxin and furans, some of the most toxic compounds known, are also released during open burning.
The Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) defines open burning as any outdoor fire. The OAC allows the following burning exceptions: cooking for human consumption (e.g. barbecues), heating tar, welding torches, smudge pots and heating for warmth for outdoor workers. Rubber, grease, car parts, garbage and dead animals may not be burned anywhere in Ohio.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency allows certain exceptions to open burning restrictions with prior written consent. To apply for an open burning permit or for more information, please call Mike Fair, environmental compliance specialist, at (513) 946-7711 or visit www.hcdoes.org.
As a courtesy, please notify your local fire department before doing any open burning.