Galway City Council is urging people in the city to consider alternatives to smoky coal, turf and wet wood.
Under current regulations, the sale, marketing, distribution and burning of smoky coal are not allowed in specific low smoke zones LSZs across the country.
These rules apply to all cities and all towns with populations of more than 10,000 people – including Galway City.
“Burning smoky coal in your house is already illegal in Galway City – with a potential fine of €5,000 – and I would urge householders to also move away from burning turf and wet wood as it creates very poor air quality for both you and your neighbours,” said the Environmental Awareness Officer at Galway City Council.
“Young children who may be out playing are breathing in heavily polluted air which is stinging their eyes and also leading to increases in asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”
Burning turf, smoky coal and wet wood produces high volumes of smoke and is one of the biggest contributors to tiny particles of pollution, or particulate matter, which are then breathed in.
This is followed by peat briquettes, dry wood and finally low smoke or smokeless coal.
Particulate matter is a significant contributor to asthma levels in our young population and can cause breathing difficulties.
“Many houses are also transitioning to clean renewable sources of energy such as heat pumps and solar panels where grant funding may be applied for by the home owner to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI),” the Environmental Awareness Officer added.
“In conjunction with our climate change carbon emission reduction targets each home owner can do their share to improve the air quality in their area which will have positive effects on their health and general wellbeing.’