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Lifestyle & Leisure

Air pollution just as harmful as smoking

Wednesday, 4th March, 2020 4:36pm

The Asthma Society of Ireland have officially launched its #OwnOurAir Schools competition. Open to all primary and secondary schools in the country, the competition aims to educate young people on the harmful effects that poor air quality has on health, while simultaneously encouraging students to take action against air pollution.

To enter the competition, students must take an action against air pollution, document the action and post about the action on social media.

Air pollution is a public health concern with potentially harmful effects. Children face even higher risks, both to their health and their development. Air pollution is now considered as harmful to individual health as smoking. The Asthma Society’s #OwnOurAir Schools Competition is part of its overarching #OwnOurAir campaign which aims to tackle air pollution in Ireland.

Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland said: “The 380,000 people who have asthma in Ireland, are at an increased risk of death because of air pollution. The latest Irish figures show that one person is dying every week from asthma.

“We believe that some of these deaths could be prevented by improving air quality. Our #OwnOurAir Schools Competition, aimed at secondary school students, will educate young people on the detrimental health effects of breathing polluted air, while also encouraging them to take action to improve air quality in their locality.”

Details about the #OwnOurAir Competition can be found on For those seeks advice on how to manage their asthma, the Asthma Society runs a free asthma and COPD Adviceline on 1800-445464. Callers can speak to a respiratory specialist nurse to get practical advice about managing their asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or that of their child.

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