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Asthma Society launch campaign for clean air

Written by | 1 May 2014 | All Medical News


  • More than 8,200 lives saved since Dublin smoky coal ban in 1990
  • Asthma Society members support an all-island ban which would reduce asthma symptoms
  • Asthma Society member survey reveals that 1 in 5 have had an asthma attack triggered by smoke from coal fire
  • Asthma Society welcomes research study commissioned by North South Ministerial Council to improve air quality

In anticipation of the eagerly awaited all-island ban on smoky coal the Asthma Society of Ireland are appealing to householders nationwide to ‘be a lifesaver’ and burn smokeless coal or an alternative clean fuel to reduce asthma symptoms and save lives.

Launching the Campaign for Clean Air today (19 March 2014), Dr. Dermot Nolan, GP and member of the Asthma Society of Ireland’s Medical Advisory Group, estimates that almost 2,000 lives could be saved annually with the implementation of an all-island ban on the sale and distribution of smoky coal.

Dr. Nolan cites the published report from Prof. Luke Clancy in The Lancet, poor air quality is directly related to increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular disease and 359 lives are saved annually as a result of the smoky coal ban in Dublin in 1990 – this results in more than 8,200 lives saved in Dublin alone since the ban.

Dr. Nolan said, “While we have made significant strides in recent years with many urban areas of Ireland now covered by a smoky coal ban, 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.

“I see the effects of smoky coal on the most vulnerable in society on a daily basis- in particular patients of chronic lung diseases such as asthma. With the implementation of an all-island ban, we estimate that 2,000 lives would be saved each year.”

A representative member survey conducted by the Asthma Society also revealed that poor air quality affects asthma in 78% of members and smoke from coal fire affects asthma in 55% of members. Furthermore, 1 in 5 Asthma Society members surveyed reported to have had an asthma attack as a result of breathing smoke from coal fire.

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