PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A study conducted for Maine’ s oil dealers says air quality could worsen if thousands of homeowners switch from oil heat to wood pellet stoves.

The study for the Maine Oil Dealers Association concludes pellet stoves generate more particle pollution and air toxics than oil furnaces. It takes aim at a draft recommendation of the Governor’ s Wood-to-Energy Task Force, which has set a goal of having 10 percent of homes heat with pellets.

The study was conducted by David Dixon of Dirigo Environmental Consultants. Dixon is a former air bureau manager at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The Wood-to-Energy Task Force says that the switch to wood could help the state reduce its heavy dependence on costly oil heat and move toward cleaner-burning wood fuels.