According to the American Lung Association, burning leaves can be extremely dangerous for your health. It is especially harmful for individuals who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems. Regardless of whether you are burning a small pile of leaves or a large pile, the fire will release numerous dangerous toxins into the air. One study indicated that burning leaves can release more toxins than a pound of coal being burned in a plant.
The burning of leaves can release the following: carbon monoxide, ozone-forming materials, nitrogen oxide and dioxins. These materials can be just as dangerous as cigarette smoke, if not worse. For these reasons, it’s not allowed in many cities and neighborhoods.
As an alternative, consider mowing over your leaves. The cut-up leaf bits actually make for a great mulching material for your lawn. The mulch can suppress weed growth, conserve moisture and also help to moderate the temperature of the soil in your yard.