Bonfires cause air pollution. Burning probably causes more pollution than any other method of waste disposal.
Bonfire smoke creates pollutants such as carbon monoxide, dioxins and particles. Burning things such as plastic, rubber or painted materials will not only create an unpleasant odour, but also produce poisonous compounds.
Bonfire smoke may also cause problems for asthmatics, bronchitis sufferers, people with heart conditions and children.
Air pollution in the UK often reaches unhealthy levels. A bonfire will only add to the general background levels of air pollution. Part of Scunthorpe is within an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). This was designated for a breach of the air quality objective for particulate matter.
Apart from air pollution, bonfires can cause annoyance to neighbours and any bonfire is a potential safety risk.