Cork County Council Reminds Householders to Consider Air Quality and Use Only Approved Fuels

Let's Clear the Air poster. A pidgeon standing on a roof. Text: Choosing low smoke fuel is better for all of us. Burning smoky fuels releases invisible toxins that damage our health. It increases air pollution, which can trigger asthma and lead to serious illness. So make sure you only use low smoke fuels. And remember to clean and maintain chimneys and heating appliances at least once a year. Find out more at

Solid fuel use is one of the biggest sources of air pollution in our homes and communities. With roughly 1 in 10 householders in County Cork burning solid fuel as their main source of heating, Cork County Council is reminding householders that only approved fuels should be used when necessary to heat their homes and to always check the labelling on all solid fuel that they buy. Approved fuel packaging should state “Contents Comply with the Air Pollution Act Regulations” and display the producer’s EPA Registration Number.

The sale of smoky solid fuels, including bituminous coal, wet timber, and turf, has been banned nationwide for over a year as these fuels cause more air pollution. It emits particulate matter into the air that has a proven harmful impact on health, contributing to heart attacks and strokes as well as significantly compromising the quality of life for people suffering from respiratory conditions.

By choosing low smoke fuels and lighting a fire only when necessary, householders are helping the most vulnerable community members, such as those with asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions, as well as the wider environment.

Some householders are sourcing bituminous (high smoke) coal from outside Cork, particularly Northern Ireland. Not only is this illegal trade contributing to air pollution, it also undermines legitimate retailers and harms local businesses who are losing customers and revenue. Although this illegal trade is confined to a small number of operators, the fact that VAT and Carbon Tax are not being paid allows non-compliant operators to undercut compliant traders and savings may not be passed on to customers.  

Cork County Council supports compliant solid fuel retailers and urges the public to do likewise by only purchasing approved fuels from trusted retailers. Look out for the wording ‘Contents comply with the Air Pollution Act Regulations’ on all solid fuel packaging.

Find out more about Ireland’s first Clean Air Strategy at The government’s strategy identifies and promotes the coordinated measures needed to reduce air pollution and promote cleaner ambient air to save lives, make our towns and cities more liveable and improve our environment.