(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 14 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Letterkenny air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Monday, Nov 28|
Good 33 US AQI
|Tuesday, Nov 29|
Good 38 US AQI
|Wednesday, Nov 30|
Good 33 US AQI
Good 14 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 2|
Good 25 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 3|
Good 26 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 4|
Good 7 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Good 10 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Good 15 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 7|
Good 6 US AQI
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Letterkenny is the largest and most populous town in County Donegal, Ireland. It can be found on the banks of the River Swilly and is considered to be a regional economic gateway for the north-west of Ireland. According to a census conducted in 2016, Letterkenny had an estimated population of approximately 20,000 people.
At the beginning of 2022, Letterkenny was going through a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 73. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon dioxide and monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, which are PM2.5 and PM10. It can then be used as the metric when comparing air quality in other cities around the world. If data is unavailable for all 6 pollutants, a figure can still be calculated by using what figures there are. There were three main pollutants measured in Letterkenny which were; PM2.5 - 22.5 µg/m³, PM10 - 39.7 µg/m³ and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 5.7 µg/m³.
This level of PM2.5 is just over twice the recommended safe level of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being an acceptable level. Although no amount of air pollution is considered to be safe.
When air pollution is from this “Moderate” bracket the given advice would be to remain indoors as much as possible, closing doors and windows to prevent more polluted air from getting inside. Those who are more sensitive to poor quality air should avoid venturing outside until the quality improves. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times. All types of outdoor exercise should be avoided until the situation gets better. There is a downloadable app from AirVisual.com which is suitable for all operating systems and gives the latest information regarding air quality in real-time.
Air quality is very changeable as it is affected by many variables. Looking back at the 2020 figures published by IQAir.com it can be seen that From May until the end of September, Letterkenny achieved the WHO target figure of being less than 10 µg/m³. The month with the best quality air was July with a very low reading of just 4.1 µg/m³. during March and April and again in October, the air quality was classified as being “Good” with readings between 10.1 and 12 µg/m³. The remaining four months of the year saw air quality classified as “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³, the dirtiest month for poor quality air was December with a reading of 22.4 µg/m³.
There were no records pertaining to air quality before 2020 when the figure was 10.5 µg/m³. This figure is only 0.5 µg/m³ above the WHO target. However, this low figure was to be expected because it would have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as many vehicles were no longer in daily use because offices were closed and staff were encouraged to work from home, in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere, albeit on a temporary basis. Worldwide, cities reported a much better quality of air due to the general lack of traffic pollution in city centres due to the pandemic.
The "smog" problem which existed from the 1980s until the early 1990s has now been eliminated primarily due to the ban on the sale and distribution of bituminous coal in certain urban areas. It really is home fires that are causing the pollution, combined with cold, still winter nights that really create perfect conditions for air pollution.
It is now evident that, due mainly to the very significant increase of vehicles on our roads, emissions from the transport sector represent the greatest threat to our air quality.
To reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, Ireland has committed to reducing air emissions in national, EU and international agreements. These agreements contain targets that Ireland aims to meet within a certain time period, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 51 per cent before 2030.
Other ways include generating 80 per cent of electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind power. It is intended to increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) to around 1 million by 2030, including 1,500 electric buses. Also, to increase the proportion of energy that comes from renewable sources for heating homes and businesses.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is introducing additional measures to monitor air quality in Letterkenny amid a spike in pollution levels. installing diffusion tubes at various locations around the town in a bid to pinpoint areas where there are high levels of sulphur dioxide and fine particulate matter which comes from the domestic burning of solid fuels, in particular smoky coal.
Poor air quality leads to 1,300 deaths per year so it is quite significant. The regular intake of smog and particulate matter can pose health risks for humans. An increased occurrence of these pollutants from world metropolises such as Beijing and Los Angeles is widely known.
But even in Ireland, it is not uncommon for the limits in terms of pollutant values to be exceeded, which means that the issue of air pollution in large cities is becoming more and more of a problem. Fine dust pollution is also increasing indoors. The questions arise as to what smog and particulate matter are, how they are formed and, above all, what the consequences are and how one can protect oneself from them.
The effects of air pollution can be very different. A high level of smog also means an increased risk of taking in fine dust, since smog and fine dust are related. Particles with a size of 5-10 microns can enter the bronchi through the nasopharynx. Smaller particles with a diameter of 3 micrometres already reach the bronchioles and alveoli. Ultrafine dust particles even penetrate the lung tissue. There they can only be removed with great difficulty or not at all.