— How we travel to work and school will also affect our local air quality says agency
Ireland’s air quality is currently among the best in Europe, but air quality remains at risk from emissions generated from driving, particularly in the larger urban areas, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday.
The agency was releasing its 2013 Air Quality in Ireland report which says two of the main problem areas are excessive motoring and domestic solid fuel for home heating, particularly in small towns and villages not covered by smoky coal bans.
“The findings of the report on wider air quality are also very encouraging. I would urge people, however, to consider air quality when making choices about home heating and transport as both of these activities can have a negative impact on air quality,” said Gerard O’Leary, director of the EPA.
Patrick Kenny, EPA air quality manager, said: “Ireland met all EU standards for air quality in 2013 but values for particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and ozone were above the World Health Organisation air quality guidelines.”
He said: “To meet these more stringent guidelines in the longer term will require collaboration across a range of policy areas including transport, energy and spatial planning. The choices we make as consumers about how we heat our homes and travel to work and school will also affect our local air quality.”
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