Air pollution in Northern Ireland 2021

Date published: 20 October 2022

This is the twentieth in a series of annual reports on air quality in Northern Ireland. 

About air quality

Air pollution results from the introduction of a range of substances into the atmosphere from a wide variety of sources.  It can cause both short term and long term effects on health, and also has impacts on the wider environment.

Government statistics estimate that air pollution in the UK reduces the life expectancy of every person by an average of 7-8 months, with an associated cost of up to £20 billion each year.

Legislation and policies aiming to further minimise and track the impact of air pollution on health and the environment have been introduced in Europe, the UK and Northern Ireland.

The publication of this report satisfies regulation 29 of The Air Quality Standards Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.  It aims to provide the citizens of Northern Ireland, and the wider air quality community, with user-friendly information on local air quality monitoring.

It contains the key results of that monitoring from throughout the region during 2021.

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