Ireland’s air quality currently is good, relative to other European Union (EU) Member States, however local issues do exist. Maintaining this standard is a growing challenge.
Despite our monitored air quality generally being within EU limit values, the levels of particulate matter is of growing concern, especially during the winter months when domestic solid fuel burning can directly impact on air quality and on our health. In our larger urban areas we face potential additional exceedances of the EU limit values for nitrogen dioxide, similar to the exceedance at St. John’s Road West in 2019, unless we reduce our dependence on the private motor car.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) estimates show 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. The WHO has described air pollution as the ‘single biggest environmental health risk’.