The Asthma Society of Ireland has called for the ban on burning smoky coal to be extended to all parts of Ireland.

Since the ban on using the fuel was introduced in Dublin in 1990, more than two dozen urban centres have followed suit.

A conference on the issue was held in Dublin today.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Chief Executive Officer of the Asthma Society of Ireland Sharon Cosgrove outlined the dangers of using smoky coal.

"There's evidence to show that the pollution levels in rural areas are higher now than the urban areas.

"So, people that are in areas that are not protected by the ban are exposed to these pollutions and they are having an impact on people's health and people's asthma, which is what we are very concerned about."

The organisation says smoky coal causes seven times more deaths annually than road traffic crashes.

It estimates that up to 2,000 lives could be saved annually if the all-island ban was implemented.

With 470,000 people affected, Ireland has the fourth-highest prevalence of asthma worldwide.

Today's conference 'Smoky Coal: An All-Island Solution' discussed strategies to implement a ban on smoky coal across the country.