World Asthma Day, 03 May 2022 - DPD launches Asthma Society video highlighting impact of Dublin air pollution on people with asthma

03 May 2022
Eilís Ní Chaithnía, Deputy CEO & Advocacy and Research Manager, Asthma Society of Ireland

With this new Air is Life for Health video, the Asthma Society of Ireland is delighted to join with parcel delivery firm DPD Ireland to highlight the effects of Dublin air pollution - specifically tiny particles called PM 2.5 that come from vehicle and solid fuel emissions - on people with asthma.

In 2021, DPD Ireland invited the Asthma Society to partner with them in their Air is Life project, aimed at measuring PM 2.5 levels in Dublin’s air. DPD Ireland placed monitors on over 102 of its vehicles and 22 buildings across Dublin which collected PM2.5 data and they have made that data available to a range of partners, including the Asthma Society to inform our Clean Air programme of work.

Currently in Ireland, 380,000 people have asthma and one in ten children have asthma. This week, the Asthma Society is marking Asthma Awareness Week by highlighting what it means to be a child – and to have a child – with asthma.

Children have faster breathing rates and their lungs are still developing. PM2.5 can penetrate deeply into the lung, irritate and damage the alveolar wall, and consequently impair lung function. Childhood exposure can affect lifelong health, with an increased risk of lung damage and pneumonia, and a subsequent risk of developing asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Even in utero, exposure to air pollution can be detrimental; it can affect brain development and cognitive ability, and can cause premature birth, chronic disease, and childhood cancer.

The Asthma Society commends DPD Ireland for its work in gathering and sharing this data, and working with us to highlight the impacts of air pollution on people’s health. We were impressed at the commitment shown by the international DPDgrou, which has also rolled this air quality monitoring programme out in 15 European cities including Paris, Madrid, London, Berlin and Glasgow. We are heartened to see the firm’s plans to deploy 250 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2025.

DPD Ireland is also leading the charge towards electric vehicles as part of a €2m fleet decarbonisation programme. The parcel delivery firm has already deployed 30 new electric delivery vehicles in 2021 and it plans to have 250 electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2025.

Dublin residents and visitors to the city can check out PM2.5 levels in any area of Dublin by visiting a dedicated DPD Ireland portal.