Air Quality in Ireland 2006

Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality

Summary: Ambient air quality trends based on concentration measurements in 2006 of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, black smoke, lead, ozone, carbon monoxide and benzene.

Published: 2007

ISBN:

Pages: 33

Filesize: 1,308KB

Format: pdf

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Executive Summary

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentrations measured in 2006 were very low relative to the limit values. There were no exceedances of either the daily limit value of 125 µg/m3 or the hourly limit value of 350 µg/m3 at any station.[1]

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations measured in 2006 were compliant with all limit values. The highest annual mean value of 35 µg/m3 recorded at Winetavern Street in Dublin was within the limit value of 40 µg/m3. There were no exceedances of the hourly limit value which will permit no more than 18 exceedances greater than 200 µg/m3 in a calendar year from 2010 onwards.

Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations in 2006 were similar to those measured in 2005. All stations were compliant with the standard introduced from 2005 which permits no more than 35 daily values greater than the limit value of 50 µg/m3. The highest number of exceedances occurred at Ennis, where 19 values greater than 50 µg/m3 were recorded. Annual mean concentrations measured at all stations were below the 40 µg/m3 limit value for annual mean. This report contains black smoke results for the April 2005–March 2006 reporting period.

Lead (Pb) concentrations measured at all stations in 2006 were below the limit value of 0.5 µg/m3 which came into force on 1 January 2005. Urban lead levels recorded were all less than one-tenth of the limit value.

Benzene (C6H6) concentrations measured at all stations in 2006 were below the limit value of 5 µg/m3 which comes into force in 2010. The highest annual mean value of 2.7 μg/m3 was recorded at Rathmines in Dublin.

Carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations measured at all fixed locations and at a number of additional EPA mobile sites in 2006 were well within the daily 8-hour mean limit of 10 mg/m3.[2] The highest maximum 8-hour CO level of 6 mg/m3 was recorded at Coleraine Street in Dublin.

Ozone (O3) concentrations measured in Ireland in 2006 were higher than recent years. During an episode in July of high ozone concentrations, the hourly information threshold of 180 µg/m3 was exceeded at four stations: Kilkitt, Valentia, Glashaboy and Emo Court. The 8-hour target value of 120 µg/m3 was exceeded at almost every station. The highest number of exceedances was 8 days at Valentia, well within the permitted number of 25 days. The AOT40 2020 long-term objective of 6,000 µg/m3.h for the protection of vegetation was exceeded at Valentia and Mace Head.[3]


 

[1] µg/m3: Microgrammes per cubic metre.

[2] mg/m3: Milligrammes per cubic metre.

[3] AOT40: Sum of the hourly concentrations greater than 80 µg/m3 (40 ppb) over a specified period, such as the growing season; µg/m3.h: Microgrammes per cubic metre hours.

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