Leitrim County Council & Environmental Protection Agency in joint project to improve Air Quality Monitoring in Carrick-on-Shannon
Leitrim County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have installed a new automatic ambient air quality monitor in Carrick-on-Shannon to provide real time air quality data. The new equipment was commissioned into service in December 2020 and provides data on Particulate Matter (PM) levels and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – pollutants which pose significant risks to human health inIreland.
The project is part of the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (AAMP) 2017-2022 which is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and was jointly implemented by Leitrim County Council and the EPA. Under the AAMP programme, the EPA together with Local Authorities is expanding and upgrading the monitoring network and enhancing the Air Quality Index for Health (AQIH) to provide improved reporting of air quality and potential health impacts. To date under the AAMP, the number of air monitoring stations has been increased from 30 to 88; in addition, 15 of the existing stations have been upgraded to provide near-real time data.
Air Quality has a significant impact on public health, and poor Air Quality is a major contributor to premature deaths. The European Environmental Agency (EEA) estimates that there are over 1,300 premature deaths annually in Ireland attributable to exposure to air pollution. Particulate Matter and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are the most significant pollutants. Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), especially from domestic solid fuel burning, is the air pollutant posing the greatest risk to health in Ireland.
The data collected by the national monitoring network is used to generate the Air Quality Index for Health (AQIH), which provides information to the public on potential risks to health from poor air quality. The Air Quality Index for Health can be viewed at: http://www.epa.ie/air/quality/index/.
The air monitor in Carrick-on-Shannon monitors Nitrogen Dioxide and PM2.5 and PM10 (particulates of diameter less than 2.5 microns and less than 10 microns, respectively), and reports data automatically on a near real-time basis. Air Quality data for the monitoring station in Carrick-on-Shannon is available at: https://airquality.ie/station/EPA-80.
The Carrick-on-Shannon monitor is located beside the N4 national primary road, close to the junction with the R280 regional road. The site was chosen as the optimal location to monitor traffic-related emissions and emissions from the Carrick-on-Shannon area in general.
Further information on the AAMP can be found here.