Become a Citizen Scientist and help the EPA to measure air pollution in Galway City

Date released: August 21, 2023

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Galway City Council are asking the people and businesses of Galway City to become citizen scientists by helping to measure air pollution.
  • We need 500 people to register to participate. Those selected   will receive a small tube that will measure Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in their local area.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide comes mainly from cars, vans and trucks. It is an air pollutant and can have very harmful effects on your heart and lungs.
  • The sampling will be carried out over the month of October 2023 and it’s free to participate.
  • You can get more information, and register to participate, on the Clean Air Together project website.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Galway City Council, today launched the Clean Air Together (Galway City) Citizen Science project, to gather new data on the quality of the air in Galway City.  We are looking for at least 500 people/businesses in Galway city to register to measure air pollution in their local area.  
EPA Director Micheál Lehane said:

“The EPA is delighted to be bringing this exciting project to Galway city to measure nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - a major traffic pollutant which is known to be harmful to our health, and the environment.  By taking part in this Clean Air Together project, you will measure NO2 in your area and your measurement - together with all of the other data collected - will give us a detailed picture of air pollution from traffic in the city. Taking part in the project is free and open to everyone who is a resident of Galway city.  You can visit the Clean Air Together website to find out more information and register as a participant.”

The aim is to get at least 500 participants in Galway city to register and begin measuring NO2 on Monday 2nd October 2023. 

So how will this work? Once you have registered and been selected to participate, you will be sent a full kit - which will include the measurement tube and simple instructions on how to install it.  You will be asked to install the tube on Monday 2nd October 2023 and leave it in place for approximately four weeks.  The tube will measure the levels of nitrogen dioxide - without you even knowing that it is there. After approximately four weeks of measuring NO2 levels, the tube is posted back to the EPA, free of charge.  The tube will be analysed, and results should be available early 2024.   
EPA Programme Manager Andy Fanning commented:

“The Clean Air Together project is a great opportunity for the people of Galway city to become Citizen Scientists.  The data from this project will provide the EPA with important information and air quality data. But, more importantly, participants in Galway city will be playing an active part in developing a better picture of - and learning more about - air pollution in their own city. When the project is completed a map showing the results will be published on the website allowing you to compare your results to those in other parts of the city.  ”

Attending today’s launch in Galway city was Deputy Mayor of Galway City, Deputy Mayor  Donal Lyons:

“I am delighted to represent Galway City Council at the launch of the amazing Clean Air Together initiative, which highlights the importance of air quality in our city.  This initiative offers those of us who live in the city an opportunity to directly engage in the collection of air quality information and to learn what our local air quality is.  These results can help inform Galway City Council of NO2 levels within the city and will be combined with existing EPA air quality results to give a better picture of NO2 levels in the city. This raises our awareness of air pollution and increases community involvement in improving the quality of air that we breathe, So why not apply by visiting the Clean Air Together website.”

Further information: Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office: 053-91 70770 (24 hours) and 
Photos from the launch are also available from the EPA Media Relations Office. 
Notes to Editor 
Clean Air Together is led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and Galway City Council.  Details of the project are available on the Clean Air Together website
Clean Air Together (Galway City) follows similar projects in Dublin and Cork City which took place between (2021 – 2023) whereby residents measured NO2 levels in their local environment. 
The results from the Clean Air Together (Galway City) project will help validate air quality models being developed through a major scientific project called Life Emerald.  Life Emerald is a 3-year project that will improve the air quality information available to the public and policy makers in Ireland. 
For further information on air pollution in Ireland visit the EPA at: 
For further information on Citizen Science in Ireland visit the EPA at the Citizen science section of the website.
Clean Air Together is inspired by a similar citizen science air pollution campaign in Belgium called Curious Noses (CurieuzeNeuzen).  This was Europe’s largest ever air pollution measurement project. Curious Noses was seen as a great success, with meaningful impacts for citizens, the scientific community and Belgian public-policy alike. More information is available on the Belgian project website.