Air

while air quality in Ireland is generally good and compares favourably with many of our European neighbours, there are concerning localised issues which lead to poor air quality.

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Air quality and you

What you need to know about air quality

What's happening with air quality?

Ireland should move towards achieving the health-based WHO air quality guidelines

  • Air quality in Ireland is generally good, however, there are concerning localised issues that are impacting negatively on the air we breathe.
  • Ireland met all of its EU legal requirements in 2021, but it did not meet the new health-based WHO guidelines in 2021.
  • Ireland and Europe should move towards achieving the health-based WHO air quality guidelines.
  • It is estimated that there are approximately 1,300 premature deaths annually in Ireland due to poor air quality from fine particulate matter (PM5).
  • The choices we make in how we heat our homes and how we travel directly impact the quality of the air we breathe.

 

See how the air monitoring network has grown since 2017

Air Quality Index for Health

Air problem pollutant

problem pollutants - seasonal graph

 

What's being done?

traffic fumes Dublin car exhausts Dublin

Reduce home heating pollution (PM)

• Change how you heat your home by moving away from smoky fuels and instead use cleaner choices, where possible.
• Avoid using solid fuels if you have an alternative cleaner heating system.
• Make your home more comfortable and energy efficient. Supports are available through The National Retrofitting Scheme.

Reduce car pollution (NO2)

• Walk, cycle or take public transport, even for the last kilometre (if you can).
• Leave the car at home (if you can) for one day a week or more.
• Carpool where possible.
• Work from home (if you can) for part of your working week.
• Go electric on your next car, if you can afford it.

What does the EPA want?

• Ireland and Europe should move towards achieving the WHO Air Quality guidelines.
• Measures to address fuel poverty, should also improve air quality.
• Local Authorities must provide more resources to increase air enforcement activities.
• The planned National Clean Air Strategy for Ireland needs to be published and fully implemented.
• National investment in clean public transport is needed across the country.

Clean Air Together

LIFE Emerald

Diffusion Tubes

Latest reports on Air

in: Air Quality
Garden Meadow
Air Quality in Ireland 2021

- Key indicators of ambient air quality in 2021

Summary of ambient air quality in 2021 based on concentration measurements of particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals, ozone, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and benzene. While Ireland met EU legal air quality limits in 2021, it did not meet the health-based World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines for a number of pollutants including: particulate matter (PM), nitrogen Dioxide (N02), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3)

thumbnail for 2020 report on Air page
Air Quality in Ireland 2020

Air quality in Ireland during the year 2020

This assessment is based on monitoring data collected from the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network during the year 2020

Air Pollution
Air Quality in Ireland 2019

Air quality in Ireland during the year 2019

This assessment is based on monitoring data collected from the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network during the year 2019

Blue Bus, cars and bicycle in traffic
Air Quality in Ireland 2018

Air quality in Ireland during the year 2018

This assessment is based on monitoring data collected from the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network during the year 2018

Embers of a fire in a fireplace
Air quality in Ireland 2017

Air quality in Ireland during the year 2017

This assessment is based on monitoring data collected from the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network during the year 2017

FAQs about air quality

in: Air

Air quality in Ireland is generally good however there are localised issues due to the burning of smoky fuel or emissions from transport in dense urban areas.

Popular FAQ's

  • Is there any air monitoring taking place at or near schools?

    The EPA in partnership with An Taisce run a schools project, called the Globe Programme. Its focus is on the measurement of Nitrogen Dioxide concentrations in the air resulting from car use.  Find out more information on the Globe Programme.

  • What are the primary sources of air pollution in Ireland?

    Particulate Matter from solid fuel burning remains the greatest threat to good air quality in Ireland. This is closely followed by Nitrogen Dioxide from transport emissions.

  • Is historical air quality data accessible to the public?

    Yes. All historical air quality data is available to download from our SAFER database https://eparesearch.epa.ie/safer/

    A list of all our current stations can be viewed here

    A list of all our past stations can be viewed here

  • How do I monitor air quality in my home?

    The EPA only monitors outdoor ambient air.  Private consultancy firms can provide air quality monitoring in homes.

    If you are concerned about indoor air quality in your workplace you should contact the Health and Safety Authority. Tel: 1890 289 389 or visit the HSA website

  • Why is air quality important?

    Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 400,000 premature deaths are attributable to poor air quality in Europe annually. In Ireland, the number of premature deaths attributable to air pollution is estimated at 1,300 people (Air Quality in Europe 2020, EEA) and is mainly due to cardiovascular disease. The WHO has described air pollution as the ‘single biggest environmental health risk’.

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