Thursday 17 June 2021
Deputy Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland, Mal O’Hara has said that the Clean Air App illustrates total failure from DAERA in addressing the toxic air that causes premature deaths and ill health across Northern Ireland.
Mal’s comments come on Clean Air Day and as an Assembly Written Question from Clare Bailey MLA shows that the Clean Air App is accessed on average only twice per day.
Mal O’Hara said: “The idea of an app which allows people to decide whether the air is too toxic for them to go outside and breathe is deeply unsettling.
“Tinkering at the edges with technology doesn’t cut it when what we really need is acknowledgment that air pollution represents a public health crisis and a clean air strategy expedited.
“It is thought that around 500 people die prematurely from conditions related to toxic air every year across Northern Ireland and deprived communities in urban areas are disproportionately impacted.
"Health impacts of toxic air include respiratory and cardiac conditions, dementia and mental health conditions. There is growing evidence that air pollution can be passed across the placenta causing premature birth.
"Yet, the Department has failed to develop and implement a Clean Air Strategy and instead have rolled out an app which only two people per day on average look at."
Mal O'Hara concluded:
"People across Northern Ireland deserve so much better than this. The vision must be for healthier, happier communities, not apps which tell people not to go outside because of the risk of toxic air."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498