Irelands Air Quality Compares Favourably With Other EU Countries

Ireland’s air quality currently is good, relative to other EU member states, but maintaining this standard is a growing challenge, according to the EPA’s latest air quality report. The report, Air Quality In Ireland 2014 – Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality, released today shows that air quality in Ireland is generally good across the country, but particulate matter in our air is of growing concern, especially during the winter months when people’s fuel choices can directly impact on air quality and on our health, particularly in our small towns and villages.

In launching the report, Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA, said

“Environmental protection and health protection are inextricably linked. We all expect that the air we breathe is clean but we cannot take this for granted. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Dublin’s smoky coal ban – a ground-breaking piece of legislation with significant proven benefits for both environment and population health. It is time now to build on these successes and tackle the two key issues impacting on air quality in Ireland – transport emissions in large urban areas and emissions from smoky fuels in our small towns around the country. While the EU has introduced and implemented a range of legal instruments to improve air quality, these standards are still not in line with the tighter WHO air quality guidelines and the EPA is now calling for movement towards the adoption of these stricter guidelines, in particular for particulates and ozone, as the legal standards across Europe and in Ireland.’
According to Patrick Kenny, EPA Air Quality Manager:
“Ireland met all EU legal standards for air quality in 2014 at EPA monitoring stations but values for particulate matter, and ozone were above the WHO air quality guidelines at some of these stations. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were also above the EEA estimated reference level. The choices that we as consumers make about how we heat our homes and travel to work and school can directly impact on our local air quality. However, people also need to have realistic and affordable options for both public transport and home heating so that the choices they make are not having a negative impact on air quality. Public policy in areas such as transport and energy needs to support and help our citizens make these better choices for the environment.”

The Air Quality in Ireland 2014- Key Indicators of Ambient Air Quality report is available on the EPA website.
The EPA continually monitors air quality across Ireland and provides the air quality index for health and real-time results on the website at Results are updated hourly on the website, and you can log on at any time to check whether the current air quality in your locality is good, fair or poor.


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