Covid 19: Improved Air Quality in Ireland

Covid 19: Improved Air Quality in Ireland

In late 2019, prior to Covid-19 warnings, the Environmental Protection Agency found that the air quality in parts of Ireland was likely to breach EU and World Health Organisation guidelines, despite the country (as a whole) meeting EU air quality standards. Latest reporting by the agency found that close to 1,200 people die prematurely in Ireland each year due to poor air quality. Earlier this year it was reported that Cork was ranked amongst the most air-polluted places on the planet.

As providers of air quality monitoring solutions, we understand the link between poor air quality and a range of negative health implications. These ill-health effects can be short-term, for example, headaches, breathing problems and irritation to eyes, or long-term, for example, asthma and cardiovascular disease.

For this reason, we welcome the recent commitment by Dublin City Council to address air quality concerns and its pledge to improve air quality by 2030. The team here at Sonitus Systems are proud to support this important work through the provision of hardware and a cloud-based monitoring solution. You can read more about this project here: Dublin City Council Gives Residents & Visitors Noise & Air Quality Insights

Research from Italy - one of the worst affected regions - has warned that higher levels of air pollution could worsen the Covid-19 threat to human health. This research is based on a correlation between the high mortality rates seen in Wuhan in China and Lombardy in Italy, and the air pollution levels in those areas.

Over the past few weeks, we have been following reports of how the coronavirus is impacting on air quality globally. You can read the full article here: Air Quality and the Coronavirus. Also, the maps in the following link show the massive drop in US smog caused by the coronavirus

After hearing reports of improved air quality across many countries, it is unsurprising - but still heartening - to read that air pollution has fallen "dramatically" in parts of Ireland following Covid-19 travel restrictions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported decreases of up to 50 percent in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at its air quality stations around the country. Nitrogen dioxide is mainly produced by petrol and diesel vehicles.

According to a recently-published article in The Irish Times, the EPA analysed results collected from monitoring stations from March 12th, when schools were closed and traffic levels fell, and compared the data with the same period last year. Significantly, there has been no increase in the particulates created by coal, peat and wood fires in people's homes despite the shutdown. This may be due to the unseasonably mild weather that Ireland has experienced throughout this containment period. We will keep a watching brief on this over the coming weeks and months.

Does your organisation require air quality monitoring? Sonitus Systems offers comprehensive air quality monitoring, using the latest technology and automated systems. We simplify the air monitoring process, giving you access to real-time data and online reporting. For more details on our air quality monitoring products and services, contact the team at Sonitus Systems

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