Air Quality in Ireland 2008

Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality

Summary: Ambient air quality trends based on concentration measurements in 2008 of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, black smoke, lead, ozone, carbon monoxide and benzene.

Published: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-84095-322-0

Pages: 36

Filesize: 2,778KB

Format: pdf

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  • Sulphur dioxide (SO2) concentrations measured in 2008 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 2008 were compliant with all limit values. The highest annual mean value of 36 µg/m3 recorded at Coleraine Street in Dublin was within the limit value of 40 µg/m3.  Navan and Blanchardstown monitoring stations both recorded one exceedance of the hourly limit value of 200 µg/m3; no more than 18 exceedances in a calendar year will be permitted from 2010 onwards.
  • Particulate matter (PM10) concentrations in 2008 were all compliant with the standard introduced from 2005, which permits no more than 35 daily values greater than the limit value of 50 µg/m3. Annual mean concentrations measured at all stations were below the 40 µg/m3 limit value for annual mean. This report also contains black smoke results for the April 2007–March 2008 reporting period; these show a continuation of the low levels recorded in recent years.
  • Lead (Pb) concentrations measured at all stations in 2008 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 the two stations operational in 2008 were below the limit value of 5 µg/m3 which will be mandatory from 2010.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations measured at all fixed locations and at a number of additional EPA mobile sites in 2008 were well within the daily 8-hour mean limit of 10 mg/m3.[2] The highest maximum 8-hour CO level of 6.2 mg/m3 was recorded at Coleraine Street in Dublin.
  • Ozone (O3) concentrations measured in Ireland in 2008 were similar to those measured in 2007. The hourly information threshold of 180 µg/m3 was not exceeded at any station. The 8-hour target value of 120 µg/m3 was exceeded at four rural stations and one suburban 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 two rural stations, Mace Head and Valentia.[3]
  • Real-time air quality information is available on the EPA website at
    whatwedo/monitoring/air/data/. The website provides members of the public with direct access to current levels of pollutants from relevant fixed stations across Ireland.

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

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

[3] AOT40: Sum of the difference between hourly concentrations greater than 80 µg/m3 (40 ppb) and 80 µg/m3 over a given period using only the one-hour values measured between 8.00 and 20.00 Central European Time each day

; µg/m3.h: Microgrammes per cubic metre hours.

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