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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Air quality among the best in Europe

However high levels of traffic pollution and residential solid fuel waste are bad news for cities.

A spell of fine weather in the Galty mountains, Co Tipperary.
A spell of fine weather in the Galty mountains, Co Tipperary.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

AIR QUALITY IN Ireland continues to be among the the best in Europe, according to a new report by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Prevailing Atlantic airflows, relatively few large cities and the lack of widespread heavy industries all contributed to the cleanliness of the air it said.

However high levels of traffic and residential solid fuel waste are contributing to high levels of pollution in city centres. Based on particulate matter concentrations for 2009-2011, Ireland is required to reduce exposure to fine particulate matter, toxic compounds and heavy metals less than 2.5 micrometers in size, by 10 per cent between now and 2020. 2.5 micrometers is about 40 times smaller than a human hair, according to the US EPA.

“Ireland faces a number of challenges to meet our EU obligations” said Micheál O’Cinnéide, Director of the EPA’s office of Environmental Assessment.

“In this regard, we welcome the new legislation which introduces, for the first time, a prohibition on the burning of smoky coal, complementing the existing ban on the marketing, sale and distribution.”

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