Name withheld by request, Suffolk Park
It is 11am on a beautiful morning in suburban bayside Suffolk Park but I am forced to shut all my doors and windows, put the air conditioner on and stay inside because some neighbour has lit his indoor stove and the toxic choking smoke is all round my house now.
This happens daily as winter hits, usually at around 4–5pm, but today it’s unusually early, it’s a cold day.
The Council were helpful when I spoke to them about the matter a year ago, they said they would contact the owners and suggested I ring the police immediately in future, as it was a serious matter, but I had to identify the chimney first.
I thought I had, but it has not helped. I have now spent months looking for the culprit or culprits, trying to find chimneys or smoke, to no avail.
Now I despair as to how I would ever find ever the source, but also how to approach a neighbour without causing conflict. As a senior citizen and frail owing to a genetic lung disease and now on oxygen, this smoke is deadly for me, but it also affects my perfectly healthy spouse and visitors who have remarked on the choking smoke in early evenings.
This can’t be good for anybody’s lungs, and I wonder about other neighbours and the small children in the childcare centre in the next street. There needs to be an education campaign about smoke and its harmful effects. The bushfires did not seem to teach people anything.
Smoke from indoor stoves contains small particles and pollutants. Breathing it in can cause lung and eye irritation, headaches, asthma attacks, acute bronchitis, and other breathing difficulties. It can also cause health effects over the long term, such as reduced lung function, chronic bronchitis, heart conditions, and even premature death. People most affected by wood smoke include babies and children, older adults and anyone with existing heart or lung conditions.
Surely we all have a right to breathe clean air? I have no idea what to do next. But I need some help please.