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Nitrogen Dioxide Levels in Dublin higher than the EU average. Air Quality action plan required!

Jul 12, 2019

According to the latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report there are dangerously high levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in certain parts of Dublin. Long term exposure to this pollutant can pose a risk to the public’s health. The EPA continually monitor the air quality across Ireland, providing an air quality index for health and real time results which are updated hourly and available online. Click here to view latest report.

The Report found that parts of Dublin are in danger of breaching the EU limits on safe nitrogen dioxide levels. The EU’s annual average limit is 40 micro grams per cubic meter. Nitrogen Dioxide is a chemical compound (N02) with a pungent odour.  The pollutant contributes to the formation of photo chemical smog.

urban smog caused by cars

Nitrogen dioxide is an air pollutant, believed to cause serious health problems to the lungs and throat such as asthma, emphysema and cellular damage. Traffic emissions and the electricity generation industry are the main sources of nitrogen oxides in Ireland.

The highest levels of the pollutant was reported in some city centre streets, along the quays, beside the M50 and at the entrance of the port tunnel. It is worth while noting that most rural parts of Dublin are below the EU average but unless traffic emissions around Dublin reduce, we could potentially experience worsening air pollution.

Action is needed!

The EPA are calling for all relevant authorities in Ireland to tackle the issue. Local authorities in Dublin will be required to prepare an air quality action plan and intervene to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide emissions in the Dublin area. The introduction of low emissions zones and cleaner modes of transport in the area may help tackle the concern.

If you would like to see more of our articles on air quality and pollution, please see “Is poor ventilation and bad air quality affecting your health”.