Editor, Townsman:

Enough with the fire pits.

There's a growing trend in Andover of people using outdoor fire pits or campfires in their densely packed residential neighborhoods as a form of outdoor entertainment that can be enjoyed during this time of coronavirus.

Although it seems like harmless fun, it is bad for your health as well as the health of your neighbors, and especially bad for children.

It has become a weekly occurrence for us to suddenly start coughing and choking and realize the entire house is full of smoke due to a neighbor's outdoor fire. Even with the windows and doors closed, the smell of smoke penetrates our home.

I have asthma, as do all the members of my family to varying degrees, and this is a serious health risk to us. Due to the monkey see, monkey do effect, this problem is growing.

Even now, I see my neighbor chopping wood in his backyard to jump on the bandwagon.

And it is not just a nuisance. Your weekly campfires are harming kids. Visit woodsmokepollution.org/children and educate yourself about the science.

Wood smoke has been scientifically linked to sudden infant death syndrome, and you are surrounded by families with babies and small children, women who are pregnant, and people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Stop exposing yourself and your family to harmful wood smoke and respect your neighbors. Enough with the fire pits.

We live in family neighborhoods, not a campground. If you cannot live without childishly pretending you are camping in your backyard, get a clean burning gas fire pit.

Michael Johnson



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