Asthma Society urges public to quit burning smoky coal
THE Asthma Society of Ireland has called on households and businesses across County Wicklow to stop using smoky coal in the interest of saving lives.
Smoky coal bans were implemented in Arklow in 1998, Bray in 2003 and Greystones and Wicklow Town last year, but the use of smoky coal is permitted elsewhere in the county, and so the society is calling on the government to address this in order to protect the health of Asthma sufferers in more rural parts of Wicklow.
The society maintains that a pan-Ireland ban on smoky coal could save up to 2,000 lives each year, and so has started a nationwide Clean Air campaign to alert the public to the dangers of burning the substance.
'The dangers of smoky coal on public health are well documented and it is also a commonly known asthma trigger,' said Niamh Kelly of the Asthma Society of Ireland.
'Until an all-island ban is implemented, policing these regional bans is difficult and hundreds of thousands of people still breathe pollutants from smoky coal every day.
'In advance of an all-island ban, we are calling on fuel consumers across Wicklow to burn smokeless coal or an alternative fuel, to reduce asthma symptoms and save lives.'