Spike in air pollutants recorded at start of September

Air quality monitoring station in Cavan Town is located behind the courthouse.

Having levelled out across much of the summer, Cavan Town recorded a recent spike in the amount of pollutant particles at the beginning of this month.

From the end of August into early September, the levels of PM10- very small particles found in dust and smoke- and PM2.5- nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from vehicles, wood burning, and industry.

The air quality monitoring station in Cavan Town was commissioned in July 2020 and is located behind the courthouse.

On August 26, PM10 was registered at levels of 18.13 at 12 midnight, with PM2.5 at 13.45.

On Friday, September 2, at 9am, PM10 was 21.04, while PM2.5 was 12.38; and the following day, Saturday, September 3, at 1am, PM10 was 26.58 and PM.2.5 was 19.75.

The levels dropped off during the week, but have once again begun to rise between September 17-19.

On Saturday, September 17, at 10am, PM10 was19.29, while PM2.5 was 16.1.

On Monday, September 19, at 10am, PM10 was 20.56, while PM2.5 was 15.57.

The figures emerged as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) reports that air quality in Ireland is generally good, however, there are concerning localised issues that are impacting negatively.

Launching Air Quality in Ireland 2021, the report shows air quality in Ireland is generally good and compares favourably with many European neighbours.

In the report further states that Ireland and Europe should move towards achieving the health-based WHO air quality guidelines, and that Local Authorities must provide more resources to increase air enforcement activities.

Launching the report, Dr Micheál Lehane, Director of the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection & Environmental Monitoring, said: “The EPA’s air quality monitoring carried out in 2021 has shown that Ireland met all of its EU legal requirements in 2021. However, we would not have met the new WHO air quality guidelines for health. Meeting the new WHO guidelines for air quality will be a major challenge for the country, however the report identifies a number of solutions to move towards these guideline levels.”

The EPA’s Air Quality in Ireland 2021 report is now 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 online at https://airquality.ie/. Results are updated hourly.