In the 1980s, Dublin choked beneath a cloud of smog with pollution seven times higher than the levels considered dangerous by the World Health Organisation. As smoky fuel began to be phased out, the black pall lifted and the city’s air returned to some semblance of normality.
Fast forward 20 years however, and Dublin’s air pollution problems are returning. With new innovative transport and heat technologies producing less fumes than ever, why is the air quality getting worse?
A recent damning report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found dangerously high levels of nitrogen dioxide along busy roadways, while researchers in NUI Galway have said the popularity of solid fuels like wood and peat products are causing “extreme air pollution” in the city.
It is not just cities that are affected, however. All across the country, ammonia emissions driven by agricultural expansion are increasing according to the EPA, resulting in breaches of EU emission limits.
Other harmful gases from an array of products such as paints and cleaning agents also pollute the air, as well as fine particulate matter from a range of sectors that can have significant negative impacts on human health.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to investigate the key factors causing the spike in air pollution and what we could be doing to tackle it.
We will use FOI and environmental information access requests to get a picture of the scale of the problem.
And we will take a deeper look at air pollution around Ireland and how it impacts on the health of our most vulnerable citizens.
Have you any information that you think would help this investigation? Contact us at [email protected]
If you want to know how your contribution is used, or anything else about how Noteworthy works, you can find out more here.