WARNING: Public reminded that ‘smoky' coal is banned in Limerick city and environs

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

WARNING: Public reminded that ‘smoky' coal is banned in Limerick city and environs

The distribution, marketing, sale and burning of bituminous or ‘smoky’ coal is illegal in the greater Limerick area

Limerick City and County Council and the Health Service Executive are reminding the public that the distribution, marketing, sale and burning of bituminous or ‘smoky’ coal is illegal in the greater Limerick city area (See map below).

The joint appeal comes as the weather begins to turn more wintry with cooler temperatures returning resulting in the more people putting on their heating in their homes. 

The burning of ‘smoky’ coal can result in severe smog in calm winter weather conditions, which can have serious consequences for the very young, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions.

When it comes to the health impact of smoky coal, diseases of the respiratory system are one of the leading causes of death both nationally and in the Mid-West accounting for 1,894 deaths between 2013 and 2017.

"If you sell or burn ‘smoky’ coal, you are contributing to the creation of a health hazard for your neighbours, and perhaps your family and friends too," said a spokesperson for the local authority who added the appeal is even more important given the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In light of the current public health emergency, it is also critical that levels of respiratory illness and hospital admissions be minimised as winter approaches," he said.

According to the appeal, there is no evidence to suggest that ‘smoky’ coal is in any way cheaper or warmer than low-smoke coal. Low-smoke coal is widely available and can easily be identified as it is packed in bags which are marked as being compliant with the  Air Pollution Act Regulations.

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