Air Quality in Ireland 2019

Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality.

Summary: Summary of ambient air quality in 2019 based on concentration measurements of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, ozone, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and benzene.

Published: 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84095-940-6

Pages: 41

Filesize: 3,818KB

Format: pdf

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Air quality in Ireland in 2019

  • Air quality in Ireland is generally good however there are localised issues


  • There was one exceedance of the EU annual average legal limit values in 2019 at one urban traffic station in Dublin due to pollution from transport.


  • Ireland was above World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guideline value levels at 33 monitoring sites – mostly due to the burning of solid fuel in our cities, towns and villages.


  • Ireland was above the European Environment Agency reference level for PAH, a toxic chemical, at 4 monitoring sites due to the burning of solid fuel.


Problem pollutants

  • Particulate matter from the burning of solid fuel – is estimated to cause 1300 premature deaths.


  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from transport emissions is polluting our urban areas.


  • Indications that we will exceed EU limit values for NO2 at further monitoring stations in the future.


What should be done

  • To tackle the problem of particulate matter we should:


  • Move away from burning solid fuel (coal, wood, turf) towards cleaner ways of heating our homes like gas or electrified heating


  • Implement a national Smoky Coal ban and determine the feasibility of a wider smoky fuel ban for towns and cities.


  • To reduce the impact of NO2 we must:


  • Follow through on the legal requirement for an air quality action plan to be developed for Dublin to protect health.


  • Implement the transport options in the Government’s Climate Action Plan, promoting clean public transport and increasing the use of electric vehicles


  • All, as individuals, consider our transport choices for each journey we take.


National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme

Currently 84 monitoring stations in the national network

  • 24 new monitoring stations were brought online during 2019


  • 3 stations were upgraded


  • 42 schools have now taken part in the GLOBE schools project operated in partnership with An Taisce


Supplemental information for this report available