Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (222)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

222. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Health the response of his Department to a recent EPA study carried out for the HSE which highlights the relationship between poor air quality, breathing conditions such as asthma and hospital admissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48263/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Policy responsibility for air quality is a matter for the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Air quality is an important environmental determinant of health and in this regard the HSE has a priority to identify and advise the general public on strategies to reduce their risk of adverse effects during episodes of poor air quality.  To this end, the HSE and the EPA established a collaboration to look at the relationship between short-term changes in ambient air quality and hospital admissions due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in Dublin city and county between 2014 and 2018.  The Air Quality Index for Health (AQIH) was the measure used for ambient air quality (Available URL: http://www.epa.ie/air/quality/index/).

The preliminary findings from this work have highlighted that the ambient air quality in Dublin is predominantly good (i.e. Good: 96% ; Fair: 3% ; Poor: 1% ; and Very poor: < 1%).  Other findings are comparable to reports within the literature, but uniquely show the Irish experience.

The report is currently being finalised for publication.