Air Pollution Report Released

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Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018′ is released.

Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018’ has been has been published today by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

This statistical report reflects air quality in Northern Ireland for 2018 and contains summary information on key air quality monitoring results and analysis from data collected by automatic monitoring stations. It is available at: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/DAERA_Air_Pollution_in_NI_2018 

The key points are:

  • Northern Ireland collected data from 19 automatic monitoring stations during 2018.
  • The report provides details of air quality monitoring undertaken and gives a summary of results, as well as long-term trends. It also sets out information on the progress being made by councils in managing local air quality and this year, highlights the redesign of the Northern Ireland Air Website and the development of the Northern Ireland Air Quality App. 
  • In 2018, objectives for most key air quality pollutants were met in full.  However, objectives for nitrogen dioxide – a pollutant closely associated with road traffic – were not met at three sites that are close to busy roads. 
  • Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – which is measured at three sites – were lower than the previous year, after a recorded exceedance of the EU target level in 2016.   Against the stricter UK Air Quality Strategy objective for PAHs, all three sites exceeded the objective.
  • Along with the Department, district councils have a duty to carry out air quality monitoring, and where air quality falls below acceptable levels they are required to declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). In the 2017 reporting year there were 19 AQMAs in Northern Ireland.  Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council redefined its AQMA to encompass the entire Borough.
  • The Department works closely with district councils and with other government departments to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting all air quality targets and objectives.

Further Information

The Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018 Report can be accessed either through the DAERA website at: 

www.daera-ni.gov.uk/DAERA_Air_Pollution_in_NI_2018 

or the Air quality in Northern Ireland website at: 

www.airqualityni.co.uk

Northern Ireland’s first real-time air quality app launched

A new air quality app providing real-time data that can help protect people’s health has been launched by the Environment Minister Edwin Poots.

The free Air App is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and provides tailored, air quality information to help people to make more informed and immediate decisions about their outdoor activities.

Launching the app which is suitable for android and iphones, Minister Poots said: “Interest in the quality of the air we breathe has grown massively over recent years, and this new app allows people with underlying health issues such as heart and lung conditions, or asthma to get more localised information when they need it.

“If you’ve any breathing difficulties, this app provides free critical information allowing you to take necessary preventative measures to avoid air pollution and protect your health when at home or on-the-go.

“The creation of this app recognises the importance of clean air to the health of each and every one of us. It also demonstrates how seriously my Department takes issues such as air quality, and this is never more important than in the current pandemic,” Minister Poots added.

The Air App empowers users by allowing them to set up their own data rich air quality notifications, see five-day air pollution forecasts and drill down to their local council levels.

The public can also access valuable health advice on the impacts of reduced air quality, enabling them to make more informed decisions about their activities on days when air quality is poor. 

There is an option for a push notification service which sends a notification to the user’s mobile phone when levels of elevated pollutants are detected or the air quality forecast has identified elevated levels of pollutants. 

The launch of the app coincides with the publication of the Air Pollution in Northern Ireland 2018 Report by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. 

The Report, which covers 2018 calendar year, takes a broad overview of air quality issues in Northern Ireland, and provides information on compliance with both the EU and Air Quality Strategy objectives. The report also considers the recent update of the Northern Ireland Air website and the development of the new air quality app.