Of Course Your House Is Killing You

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves emit more pollution than gas stoves. (Photo By MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images)

There’s nothing as bad for you as living well.

Here’s a nice memory: My wife and I are in Aspen, sitting by a fire that is a little bigger than it really needs to be, drinking a nice Margaux; the dachshund is tuckered out from hiking up the mountain earlier in the day and is fast asleep with her belly turned toward the fire. Dinner is simmering in the kitchen. 

Horrors, all, of course: There’s getting there, to begin with, and the dose of radiation you get every time you fly (“aircrew have the largest average annual effective dose of all US radiation-exposed workers”) added to the extra radiation you get just from being in the mountains (“calculations based on data from NCRP reports show that the average level of natural background radiation (NBR) in Rocky Mountain states is 3.2 times that in Gulf Coast states”), the magnificent fireplace (“Wood-burning fireplaces: Not such a hot idea”) that makes the emissions from the gas range look like the purest oxygen in one of those weird Japanese oxygen bars by comparison, the Margaux (“Even a Little Alcohol Can Harm Your Health,” the New York Times warned last week), the sweet little puppy (“pet dander can potentially be harmful to your respiratory system”), the bacteria-laden spice rack in the kitchen, the steak

And there is nowhere to go to cleanse yourself from all that contagion: “Your bath mat is disgusting,” reports the New York Times. And don’t even ask about taking a long, hot shower or a warm bath on a cold winter night. 

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