New national smoky fuel ban will save lives

By June Shannon Policy News   |   7th Sep 2021

In its 2022 pre-budget submission, the Irish Heart Foundation called for support to help the most vulnerable move to healthier heating methods.

New standards to be introduced by Government from next year that will see the introduction of a national smoky fuel ban will save lives, the Irish Heart Foundation has said

Welcoming the measures that will see the most polluting fuels no longer available on the Irish market, the Irish Heart Foundation said it was a “huge step” in reducing the impact of toxic air pollution.

“Air pollution is responsible for more than 1,300 deaths every year in Ireland, with the vast majority of these due to heart disease and stroke,” said Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer with the Irish Heart Foundation.

“These measures will have a significant impact on this largely preventable loss of life as well as improving overall levels of public health.

“There is simply no safe level of exposure to air pollution, and while these updated domestic solid fuel regulations still permit the burning of some solid fuel with stricter standards, they are a huge step in the right direction and will reduce the number of lives lost to dirty air.”

“ Air pollution is responsible for more than 1,300 deaths every year in Ireland, with the vast majority of these due to heart disease and stroke,"

Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer , The Irish Heart Foundation

Although the new measures will effectively ban and curtail the burning of smoky coal, wet wood and sod peat, the Irish Heart Foundation said thousands of fuel-poverty households in Ireland still hugely reliant on these fuels, cannot be left behind.

In its 2022 pre-budget submission, the Irish Heart Foundation calls for the introduction of a Green Transition Fuel Allowance to support and facilitate those most vulnerable in moving away from the worst affecting solid fuels to more sustainable and healthier forms of heating.

“It is imperative that the Government, in this upcoming budget, allocates significant additional funding to the department and local authorities to monitor, enforce and police these new domestic solid fuel regulations so that we can all enjoy the benefits of cleaner air,” said Mr Murphy.

“There is simply no safe level of exposure to air pollution,"

Mark Murphy, Advocacy Officer , The Irish Heart Foundation

From 2022 the following new standards for solid fuels will apply in Ireland:

These regulations will be finalised in the coming months and will be in place for the 2022 heating season. They are being announced now to allow those servicing the domestic solid fuel market to plan accordingly and to continue to invest in less polluting alternatives.

Public Awareness Campaign

In advance of the new regulations the Minister is also launching a public awareness campaign focusing on the simple steps people can take to reduce air pollution from domestic fires during the winter ahead.

The campaign will be run across national and local radio stations, in the national and regional press, and on social media from late September.

The campaign will centre around three core messages or the ‘ABC’ for Cleaner Air, which can help bring about significant improvements in air quality:

 

 

 

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air pollution cardiovascular disease climate heart disease smoky fuels stroke

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