Calls for a moss wall on the M50 to reduce air pollution

by Gary Ibbotson

Moss installations could soon be a feature of the M50 motorway as calls have begun to get vertical towers of the plant fitted along the major roads in an effort to reduce air pollution.

Councillor John Kennedy (FG) has raised a motion for the December 9 Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council meeting, calling on numerous authorities to introduce the pollution-fighting shrub.

Cllr Kennedy said: “Moss air filters have been deployed in a number of municipalities, such as in Stuttgart, London and Hong Kong, because vertical installations of special moss cultures are estimated to each reduce air pollution as effectively as 275 trees despite their smaller footprint.”

“The EPA’s July report ‘Urban Environmental Indicators’ provoked alarm in relation to rising nitrogen dioxide levels in the Dublin region.

“Particularly from a Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council perspective in relation to the M50 motorway, a large number of residential homes are located along the motorway and it is important to react by increasing the sophistication of air quality detection at the M50.”

Cllr Kennedy says moss is proven to cleanse air often polluted by the burning of fossil fuels.

“Air filters with moss offer the prospect of purifying determinants of the Air Quality Index for Health (AQIH) such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter pollutants, PM2.5 and PM10 – as well as absorbing significant amounts of carbon dioxide and so in effect acting as a carbon capture method also,” he says.

“Such moss installations are estimated to cost in the realm of €25,000 each and as they reduce 240 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, they could prove to be a nearly cost-neutral practical carbon offset option once the price of carbon rises to €80 per tonne, as is projected by the Government during the next decade as part of climate change related obligations.”

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