06/12/2013

Air Pollution Text Service Launched

A new service has been launched that will enable air pollution updates to be sent by text message.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has launched Air Aware, aimed at people who have existing chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease, so they can choose to limit their time outdoors or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.

Minister Durkan said: "With the launch of the Air Aware service, we are going further to ensure that the people who need air quality information the most receive it. For instance, those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease or asthma may find it beneficial to know if air quality is poor, so that they can then choose whether they need to adjust their daily routine when air pollution levels are high.

"My Department currently issues alerts to local media to inform the public of high air pollution events. There were five such alerts this year between January and April. These events usually happen in the winter when cold, calm weather conditions trap pollutants at ground level and there is a high level of households burning solid fuel.

"The service is designed to be easy to use - just text the word ‘AIR’ to 66101. I would also encourage GP surgeries and hospitals to register with the service so that they can work with us in getting the information to those who need it the most."

Health Minister Edwin Poots commented: "The air pollution text alert system is an important initiative with the potential for significant benefits for patients with long term conditions. Providing warnings to those most likely to be affected, as well as to key health professionals and services that subscribe, should contribute to improved personal and service responses to condition management during such events."

(IT)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

13 November 2017
NI Health Budget To Receive Increase Of 5.4%
The health budget in Northern Ireland is to receive an increase of 5.4% compared to the previous financial year, according to the budget for 2017/18. NI's budget for 2017/18 is to be passed into law at Westminster later this week.
07 July 2006
Air quality website for NI launched
The government has today announced that a website dedicated air quality is to be set up for Northern Ireland. Environment Minister David Cairns today welcomed the announcement and added that the website will provide a new medium for access to information on air quality.
25 November 2011
Traffic Congestion Clouds Air Quality
There's something in the air this week with news of improvements in Northern Ireland's air quality standard - but there's still big problems near major road junctions. The NI Environment Minister Alex Attwood has advised that air quality here has continued to improve year on year.
22 October 2018
NI Health Service Disparity Shocks MP
The chair of the Commons NI Affairs Committee has expressed his shock at the disparity between Northern Ireland health services and those throughout the rest of the UK.
14 November 2008
Mayo Soldier Killed In Afghanistan
A Co Mayo man fighting in Afghanistan has been killed along with a colleague while serving with British forces. Robert McKibben, 32, from Westport, died alongside a fellow marine after their patrol was hit by an explosion when the vehicle he was travelling in was blasted by an explosive device in Helmand province.