People in Cork are being urged to rethink their fuel choices over the festive period.
The appeal is being made by Cork County Council who is highlighting how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) national monitoring network has shown spikes in air pollution across the country this winter, including in Cork County.
According to the local authority, evidence from many of the EPA monitoring stations indicates a marked increase in emissions after 6pm each evening, which it says suggests the burning of solid fuels in domestic fires is a key contributor.
Earlier this year, a number of areas in Cork were designated Low Smoke Zones.
The new zones include Mallow, together with a large swathe of East Cork encompassing Cobh, Midleton Carrigtwohill and all areas in between.
Since September 1st 2020, the marketing, sale, distribution and burning of bituminous or ‘smoky’ coal has been banned in these areas.
Now Cork County Council is rolling out a special public awareness campaign “be the difference, breathe the difference” where it will be highlighting the health impacts of air pollution and provide advice on the most appropriate solid fuels for householders.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan-Foley highlighted how some small changes could make a big difference to air quality, “If we all just take a moment to consider what we are using and the impact we create. There is now a wide variety of alternatives available, so let’s ensure we purchase low smoke fuel products, use dry timber and never burn household waste. Our choices make a difference and we must protect the quality of our air.”
Cork County Council Chief Executive, Tim Lucey added: “Cork County Council is asking everyone to take some simple steps to protect air quality and support the green agenda. There is now a range of innovative low smoke solid fuel products available on the market which are cleaner, more energy-efficient and will deliver improved air quality resulting in positive human health and environmental benefits.”