A report from the HSE has linked poor air quality in Dublin to an increase in admissions to hospital for asthma-related illnesses and heart trouble.
The report shows a 70% increase in asthma-related illnesses, with a 50% increase in the number of heart disease sufferers who are taken to hospital with heart failure.
The findings were presented at an Environmental Protection agency conference last month but have not yet been made public.
In the EPA Air Quality in Ireland 2018 report, the EPA listed breathing problems, respiratory conditions and illnesses, cardiovascular diseases and impacts on the reproductive system as health impacts of air pollution.
One of the key findings of the EPA report was that levels at monitoring sites in Ireland were below the EU legislative limit values in 2018, while the report recommends improving energy efficiency in homes, a “move towards clean ways of heating our homes” and the implementation of transport options as set out in the Gorvernment’s Climate Action Plan to reduce air pollution issues.
Speaking on the figures from the HSE report, Green Party Councillor Michael Pidgeon has expressed his concern at the findings.
“We’re seeing a 50% increase in the number of patients with heart failure being admitted, and it just goes to show that not taking action on air pollution and air quality has real-world impacts. It’s not just an abstract problem, it’s something that leads to more people who are probably in already vulnerable situations getting even sicker.”