first_imgA study of the air in Letterkenny by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Health Service Executive has shown alarming results.The study, undertaken over the past two years, shows unacceptable levels of dust particles known as PM10.Many of these particles are connected with the burning of coal. The results of the study has partially led to a ban on the burning, marketing, sale and distribution of “smoky coal” which will be introduced to Letterkenny and its environs from May 1st 2013.The purpose of this ban is to deliver cleaner air and to reduce air pollution in the larger towns and cities in Ireland. This has been done in many other towns and cities since 1990 when the ban was first introduced to Dublin.From 1st May, Coal Retailers and Coal Merchants will not be permitted to market, sell or distribute bituminous (smoky) coal to householders in Letterkenny and the wider environs. In addition to this, householders within Letterkenny and the wider environs will no longer be allowed to burn bituminous (smoky) coal from 1st May. A map of the ban area can be found at sole purpose of the “Smoky Coal” ban is to deliver cleaner air to the Letterkenny area. The EPA, in conjunction with the HSE, has monitored the air quality in Letterkenny for the past 2 years and the results show an unacceptable number of exceedences of the air quality limits for PM10 which are very fine particles of dust or particulate matter (less than one-hundredth of a millimetre in size).In smaller urban centres such as Letterkenny, the main source of PM10 is the emissions resulting from the burning of smoky solid fuels.PM10 is harmful to health owing to its ability to penetrate into the lungs and is associated with cardiopulmonary and respiratory disorders. Put simply, less PM10 means better health and improved air quality.The “Smoky Coal” Ban has been in place in Dublin for the past 23 years and has had a dramatic impact on the air quality in the city.Research carried out by Professor Luke Clancy in 2002 has indicated that the smoky coal ban introduced in Dublin in 1990 resulted in major health benefits with up to 350 fewer deaths annually in the city. The Asthma Society has stated “that Ireland has the 4th highest prevalence of asthma worldwide with 470,000 people in Ireland suffering from Asthma. The research published in The Lancet also showed that poor air quality is directly linked to increased risk of death from respiratory and cardiovascular disease.”The Asthma Society state that “people who suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, can be badly affected by exposure to harmful particles in the air which result from pollutants, including the burning of smoky coal.”The alternatives to burning “Smoky Coal” is to use Smokeless Fuels including,• Smokeless Coal – bags will be clearly labelled “Smokeless Fuel”, • Wood – kindling, firewood logs, firestarter logs• Turf – loose turf and baled briquettes.The new regulation will be enforced by Donegal County Council after an awareness raising campaign. Inspections will be carried out on retailers, coal merchants and coal delivery lorries. Inspections will also be carried out “out of hours” when coal deliveries are most frequent.Donegal County Council encourages members of the public to report instances of the flouting of the law, which will result in enforcement action being taken by Donegal County Council.STUDY OF LETTERKENNY AIR SHOWS SMOKY COAL BAN BADLY NEEDED was last modified: April 22nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:letterkennysmoky coal banlast_img read more

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