A firelog manufacturer lost its legal challenge to the Bay Area's wood-burning rule, according to an announcement Thursday by the region's air district.
Duraflame, which has corporate headquarters in Stockton, contended that its manufactured logs burned cleaner than natural wood logs, and sought an exemption from winter Spare the Air alerts that prohibit the use of fireplaces and wood stoves on poor air quality days.
The First District Court of Appeal rejected Duraflame's claim, and the company is now required to re-label its products to notify customers of the restrictions and provide contact information for consumers to check the burn status.
"The court has reaffirmed the air district's rule to protect public health and reduce harmful wintertime air pollution," Bay Area Air Quality Management District executive office Jack Broadbent said in a statement.
The labeling requirement went into effect on Oct. 1, and winter Spare the Air requirements are in effect between November and February.
During winter Spare the Air days, the air district prohibits the use of wood-burning devices, including fireplaces, pellet stoves, wood stoves and outdoor fire pits.
A survey conducted by the air district found that 25 percent of Bay Area households curtailed their wood burning in response to the air quality restrictions.
A majority of survey respondents -- 71 percent -- indicated that they supported the wood-burning rule. The air district estimates that there are 1.4 million fireplaces and wood stoves throughout the Bay Area that contribute pollutants like particulate matter and carbon monoxide.
Wood smoke is a major wintertime source of air pollution, while car exhaust is the major summertime contributor, according to the air district. Particulate matter has been linked to respiratory illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis and lung disease.