On the 5th December, the Irish National Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, announced a full Smoky Coal Ban for Ireland.

Bituminous, or smoky, coal creates dangerous pollutants and it has been forbidden in larger Irish towns since 1990, saving more than 8,900 lives since that restriction.

The new legislation entails that marketing, sale, distribution and use of smoky coal will be forbidden in the whole Irish territory from autumn next year. With this new announcement, Ireland becomes the first country in Europe to implement a full ban on smoky coal.

EFA member Asthma Society of Ireland Interim CEO Kevin Kelly commented “The risk smoky coal poses to our health has now been recognized and tackled at source following years of campaigning. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 lives are lost on the island of Ireland each year from smoky coal pollution and today the right to clean air has been acknowledged. The national ban will reduce coal ash production, a source of exposure to arsenic and other health-damaging metals”

With 470,000 people affected, Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma worldwide. Whilst patients of respiratory diseases are worst affected, ongoing exposure to this pollutant affects everyone.



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