Wednesday 28 September 2016

Revealed: Ireland’s worst air polluted towns and cities

Catherine Devine

Published 12/05/2016 | 12:08

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Irish towns across the country have breached the safety levels for air pollution, according to the World Health Organisation.

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The global organisation measures levels of air pollution in a unit called particulate matter (PMs).

Longford was the worst area affected as it breached the safe limit set for PM10 at 22 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3). Bray closely followed the midlands town for high levels of air pollution.

Longford, Bray, Galway and Dublin also breached the safe levels for a separate measure with Longford again the worst offender.

In the North, Derry and Belfast were found to have safe levels of air pollution. 

The health risks for people of polluted air include the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic and acute respiratory diseases and asthma.

“Air pollution is a major cause of disease and death. It is good news that more cities are stepping up to monitor air quality, so when they take actions to improve it they have a benchmark,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant-Director General, Family, Women and Children’s Health.

Air pollution causes more than three million premature deaths worldwide every year.

Dr Annette Prüss-Ustün from WHO. told Independent; “Many countries started taking action, and a lot has been done already to reduce air pollution. However more is required in almost all countries of the world in order to reduce air pollution levels.

“Children and adults alike are vulnerable. The problem of air pollution is relevant for all the world, a relatively small share of the world’s cities has good air quality."

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