Summary: Synthesis report for the study which involved the measurement of particulate and PAH levels in Letterkenny, Killarney, Navan and Tralee for a period of one year in order to ascertain the level of particulate air quality in those towns.
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This study involved the measurement of particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Letterkenny, Killarney, Navan and Tralee for a period of one year in order to ascertain the level of these pollutants in those towns. The selection of the towns was based on the following criteria; population size; presence/absence of a natural gas supply and/or a smoky coal ban. PM and PAH levels in the four selected towns were measured during both the heating and non-heating seasons during 2011-2012. The results were analysed in terms of European Union air quality limit values and WHO guideline values, and with available data from EPA monitoring locations in Dublin, taking into account the meteorological conditions and the types of fuel used for residential heating.
Since this study was conducted, Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly T.D, in September 2015 announced a policy direction that the smoky coal ban in Ireland is to be extended nationwide leading to a complete transition from the use of smoky coal for home heating in a maximum timeframe of three years.