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Hellenic Cancer Society Wants Fireplace Use Banned in Cities

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(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Thanassis Dimopoulos)

ATHENS - With many people unable to afford heating oil, or their buildings not providing any heat, turning to fireplaces, the Hellenic Cancer Society called for prohibition on their use in urban areas.

The organization said the government should impose a ban on the fireplaces that are common in Greek homes and act as a centerpiece as well as heating source with successive governments reducing oil subsidies for the poor.

Measures to prevent the use of fireplaces should include laws with big fines and building codes preventing installing fireplaces in new construction, it said, charging that their use causes  emissions and fine particles dangerous for public health due to their damaging effects on air quality, indoors and outdoors, the business paper Naftemporiki said.

The idea set off a firestorm of debate across social media