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Is it safe to breathe wood smoke from a fire during pregnancy?

Russell Turk

Small studies have shown that chronic exposure to the carbon monoxide in wood smoke may be harmful to the growth of a developing fetus, and there are theories about why this may be so. This could be a major public health issue in developing countries where two-thirds of households rely on wood for fuel.

However, occasional exposure from campfires and properly ventilated fireplaces or wood-burning stoves is much less likely to have any harmful effects.

Christina Chambers

It hasn't really been studied, but one potential problem might be that burning wood treated with harmful chemicals would send those chemicals into the air, where they could be inhaled. Also, theoretically, breathing smoke from any burning materials could reduce the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream (depending on the amount of smoke) — and therefore the amount of oxygen that's available to your baby.

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