EPA urges households and businesses to make air quality a priority this Halloween

Date released: Oct 27 2017

The EPA has released a short animation illustrating the dangers of illegal burning of waste and its impact on people’s health.  As Halloween fast approaches the EPA is asking householders and businesses to protect people’s health by disposing of waste properly. Uncontrolled burning of waste pollutes air and is illegal.

EPA Scientific Officer Martin Doyle said:

“Burning household waste, either in domestic fires or in the open, can release highly toxic substances into the air.  These substances include dioxins and they can be inhaled by children and adults nearby. Air pollution can seriously damage people’s health, particularly those suffering from heart or respiratory illnesses so while Halloween is a fun time of year, it should not be used as an excuse to burn waste. To keep our air clean, the EPA is asking people not to use bonfires to dispose of household or hazardous waste.” 

Some people may not be aware that waste disposal by uncontrolled burning (so-called backyard burning) is illegal.  Backyard burning and unauthorised bonfires should be reported to your local authority.  Please contact your local authority directly or phone the lo-call National Environmental Complaints Line: 1850 365 121 or use the See it? Say it! smart phone app.

The EPA’s animation on backyard burning is available on the EPA website and on You Tube.

Information about the types of air pollutants monitored by the EPA can be accessed on the EPA website.


Notes to Editor

Air Quality Monitoring: Results are updated regularly, and people can log on at any time to check whether the current air quality locally is good, fair or poor at.

See, it? Say it! smart phone app: This can be used to report any pollution incident.  People routinely use it to report backyard burning, flytipping of waste, water pollution incidents, odours and littering.   Using the app people simply take a photograph of the pollution incident, input the GPS location coordinates, add a sentence or two and their contact details.  The incident is then sent automatically to the relevant local authority for follow up and action.

Air Quality Monitoring: The EPA continually monitors air quality across Ireland and provides real-time results on the website.The public can also view the Air Quality Index for Health on the website. The Air Quality Index for Health presents current air quality on a colour coded map of Ireland.  The Index is divided into 4 bands: Good; Fair; Poor and Very poor, and provides health advice for each band. A related Twitter feed @EPAAirQuality sends regular updates daily. The EPA’s most recent air quality report (2015) can also be downloaded from the website.