Ireland currently holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest prevalence of asthma cases in Europe. However, there is a ray of hope on the horizon for those grappling with respiratory issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled an innovative online tool that empowers citizens to monitor the air quality in their surroundings.
This groundbreaking development, accessible at www.airquality.ie, serves a dual purpose. Primarily, it equips individuals with the means to strategise their outdoor pursuits, enabling them to minimize potential exposure to subpar air quality. Moreover, the EPA aspires to leverage this new service to raise public awareness about air pollution challenges specific to local regions.
Although Ireland, in general, has witnessed a reduction in air pollution, certain urban hubs, such as Letterkenny, Ennis, and Enniscorthy, continue to contend with recurrent episodes of poor air quality. The fresh air quality forecast emerges as a valuable tool to address these persistent issues.
So, how does this system operate? The forecast undergoes updates twice daily, at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The website features maps depicting anticipated air quality for the next three days: today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Quality assessments are made on a scale from 1 to 10, where a score of 10 signifies very poor air quality, and a score of 1 to 3 represents good air quality.
Furthermore, the prediction offers insights into the daily concentrations of Ireland’s three primary air pollutants: particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3). This novel air quality forecast not only furnishes real-time information but also facilitates proactive planning of activities and the implementation of measures to mitigate exposure to air pollution.