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