AIR pollution is reaching a dangerous level in Waterford, a councillor has claimed.
Green councillor Marc Ó Cathasaigh said a combination of slack winds and cold air combined last week to trap emissions from cars, chimneys and boilers.
He said this caused readings for “particulate matter” at the Browne’s Road station to exceed 200 microgrammes per cubic metre, a level that can be harmful to human health.
“These measurements may only be the tip of the iceberg,” he warned.
“It’s worth noting that the Browne’s Road station is at one of the highest points in the city. If air pollution readings are this high there, I dread to think what the air quality was like in Poleberry, for example.
We have a huge problem with air pollution in our cities in Ireland.
“An EPA report issued in November estimated that our poor air quality can be directly linked to up to 1,500 premature deaths every year, and we know that particulate matter contributes to the incidence of asthma and COPD. It affects our most vulnerable most severely, with older people and children most likely to be affected.”
Cllr Ó Cathasaigh said “the first step to tackling the problem is to understand the scale of the problem.” He called for monitoring stations across the city, and “especially in locations where our more susceptible citizens are exposed, outside our schools and hospitals, for example.”