Ozone levels high as a result of exceptionally high temperatures

Date released: Jul 19 2006

The EPA has found that the  'information threshold' for ozone has been breached and offers the following information:

The ozone 'Information Threshold' of 180 microgrammes per cubic metre was first exceeded in county Monaghan at 8pm yesterday evening and subsequently at air monitoring stations across the country.

At ground level, ozone is an irritant.  The very young, the very old and those with respiratory problems are advised that strenuous activity may lead to breathing difficulties.  They should avoid such activity as long as levels remain high. 

The high levels are expected to persist only while temperatures remain exceptionally high.  The MET Office has been informed of exceedances by the EPA.  MET Eireann has already issued the information in its main weather bulletins. The EPA will issue a further press release when ozone levels return to normal.

Ozone is a secondary pollutant formed from the interaction of various precursor compounds in the presence of sunlight and high temperatures.  It is present in air masses across the globe and is transported from Atlantic and European regions. 

Hourly updates on all air quality measurements are available via www.epa.ie/whatwedo/monitoring/air.