Northern Ireland news

Some city-dwellers in north 'inhaling air too dangerous to breathe'

Belfast was one of the cities that failed a test for fine sooty particles  

PEOPLE living in three cities in the north are inhaling air considered too dangerous to breathe, a report by the World Health Organisation has found.

The Green Party has called for urgent action on air quality after Armagh, Belfast and Derry all failed a test for fine sooty particles that have been linked to heart disease and premature death.

The WHO revealed that 44 out of 51 towns and cities across the UK had failed the test.

Armagh was the worst in Northern Ireland followed by Belfast and Derry.

Green Party NI representative Georgina Milne said the findings were concerning.

"The human and financial cost of doing nothing is huge - more than 500 deaths in Northern Ireland per year are attributed to air pollution. This represents more deaths per year than road traffic collisions and passive smoking combined," she said.

She added: "We need the traditional parties to come together, to form an Executive and deliver a budget so that these life and death issues can be tackled."

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