WORLD LUNG DAY: #OwnOurAir video highlights young peoples’ ideas for tackling air pollution in IrelandWORLD LUNG DAY
The Asthma Society of Ireland today, World Lung Day, releases a video highlighting the effects of air pollution on human health, in particular for people with asthma. The video features the voices of young people giving their ideas on how best to tackle air pollution in Ireland.
The young people featured in this #OwnOurAir video received prizes for their entries in the Asthma Society’s #OwnOurAir competition during Asthma Awareness Week 2020. The Asthma Society’s #OwnOurAir competition was kindly supported by the ESB’s Energy for Generations fund.
For young people interested in learning more about air pollution, its effects on people with asthma, and how they can help tackle this ongoing problem, click here.
Air Pollution and Asthma
Currently in Ireland, 380,000 people have asthma and 890,000 people will suffer from the condition at some stage of their lives. Air pollution can severely impact their quality of life by triggering asthma symptoms while studies have shown that air pollution can cause asthma in young children.
Reducing air pollution can save lives and better the quality of life for someone with asthma. Restrictions and measures implemented to combat the coronavirus have led to a drastic reduction in NO2 and Particulate Matter (PM) levels in April 2020 resulting in 11,000 avoided deaths from air pollution in EU countries and an estimated 35 fewer deaths in Ireland alone.
Other avoided health impacts include 1.3 million fewer days of work absence, 6,000 fewer new cases of asthma in children, 1,900 avoided emergency room visits due to asthma attacks and 600 fewer preterm births.
The fight against air pollution has been a key aspect of our work for a number of years: there is a need for it to be discussed not only as a climate issue, but as a health issue.
While responsibility for policy, planning and the legislative framework in relation to these issues rest with other Government Departments still, the Department of Health has an important role to play in the delivery of clean air for the benefit of health.
A move towards a ban on the use of smoky fuels would positively impact not just people living with respiratory conditions such as asthma, but also the health of the general public.
 Guarnieri, Michael, and John R Balmes. 2014. “Outdoor air pollution and asthma.” Lancet 383 (9928): 1581–1592.
 Myllyvirta, L; and Thieriot, H; “11,000 air pollution-related deaths avoided in Europe as coal, oil consumption plummet” CREA 2020. Available at: https://energyandcleanair.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CREA-Europe-COVID-impacts.pdf