Air Quality in Ireland 2011

Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality. Revised version posted 13 June 2013.

Summary: Ambient air quality trends based on concentration measurements in 2011 of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, black smoke, heavy metals, ozone, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and benzene.

Published: 2012

ISBN: 978-1-84095-465-4

Pages: 94

Filesize: 3,435KB

Format: pdf

Download now

Related Documents

Executive Summary

The revised version posted on 13 June contains corrected data in tables A10 and A14.

This report provides an overview of air quality in Ireland for 2011, based on data obtained from the 29 monitoring stations that form the national ambient air quality network. This includes the following pollutants: nitrogen oxides; sulphur dioxide; carbon monoxide; ozone; particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5 and black smoke); benzene and volatile organic compounds; heavy metals; and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The network is coordinated and managed by the EPA, as the National Reference Laboratory for Air Quality. Monitoring stations are located across the country, with new stations added in 2011 in Shannon Town, Co. Clare and Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

The results of the monitoring are compared to limit values set out in EU and Irish legislation on ambient air quality. As recommended in the 2011 Review of the Environmental Protection Agency, map-based assessments are presented.

Overall, air quality in Ireland continues to be good and is among the best in Europe. This is due largely to the prevailing clean westerly air-flow from the Atlantic and the relative absence of large cities and heavy industry. However, Ireland faces a number of challenges in the near future when trying to meet our obligations under EU legislation.

Levels of NOX in traffic-impacted city centre areas will continue to be a problem due to the difficulty in achieving large-scale reductions in road traffic numbers. Emissions from residential solid fuel use contribute to high levels of particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in villages, towns and cities.

Based on particulate matter concentrations for 2009-2011, Ireland is required to reduce exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 10% between 2012 and 2020. This challenging reduction will require an integrated approach across a number of sectors including industrial, transport and residential emissions.

To maintain our good standard of air quality and ensure that in the future our air will be healthy and clean, Ireland must continue to implement and enforce the ban on bituminous coal. Households and businesses should use more efficient methods to burn fuel and shift from solid fuel to cleaner alternatives, while also striving to reduce the demand for energy consumption. We must also reduce traffic emissions through implementing policies to reduce travel demand, increase the use of alternatives to the private car such as cycling, walking and public transport and improve the efficiencies of motorised transport.

Information on real-time air quality. This provides members of the public with direct access to current levels of pollutants from relevant fixed stations across Ireland.

Related Documents