Air Pollution & Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the authority with responsibility for ambient air quality monitoring in Ireland. The Environmental Protection Agency measures the levels of a number of atmospheric pollutants including: Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Dioxide & Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Dioxide, Particulate Matter, Benzene, Lead, Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Arsenic, Nickel, Cadmium & Mercury.

Ambient air quality monitoring and assessment in Ireland is carried out in accordance with the requirements of Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, also known as the CAFE Directive. The CAFE Directive has been transposed into Irish national legislation by the Air Quality Standards Regulations 2011.

Under Air Quality Legislation, Ireland is divided into 4 zones for the purposes of ambient air quality:

  • Zone A: Dublin Conurbation
  • Zone B: Cork Conurbation

  • Zone C: Other cities and large towns comprising Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Sligo, Drogheda, Wexford, Athlone, Ennis, Bray, Naas, Carlow, Tralee, Dundalk, Navan, Letterkenny, Celbridge, Newbridge, Mullingar and Balbriggan.

  • Zone D: Rural Ireland, i.e. the remainder of the State excluding Zones A, B and C.

  • It is possible to check which zone you are in, using the EPA website's Map Viewer. Real-time air quality monitoring data is also available on the EPA site.