New study discovers a hidden culprit driving air pollution and climate change: Domestic firelighters

University of Galway
August 28, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

An international team of researchers from Ireland, China and India, led out of University of Galway, has exposed previously unrealized health and climate impacts from the use of domestic firelighters. The research reveals that they are a previously unknown source of the powerful climate change driver black carbon. Their analysis also discovered that air quality and pollution levels in Dublin, Ireland have rivaled those in Beijing. The research was published in npj Climate and Atmospheric Science. The study found that firelighters used to light open fires and stoves in the home—even if used in small quantities and for a short period of time—emit more black carbon than all biomass fuels put together. …The research team describe the impact of firelighter use in home heating and the release of black carbon as a significant and previously overlooked source of air pollution. Firelighters are kerosene-based and contain hydrocarbon alkane.

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