Clean Air Together (CAT) is a citizen science project where people voluntarily sign up to measure levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution in their local area. NO2 is a traffic-related air pollutant that can cause negative health impacts. NO2 particularly impacts children, people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as asthma, outdoor workers, the elderly, and those communities who may be more exposed to air pollution because of where they live or work.
The first Clean Air Together campaign took place in October-November 2021 where approximately 1,000 citizens across Dublin successfully measured NO2 near their home, business, or school. The second Clean Air Together campaign took place in October 2022 in Cork City with over 700 participants measuring NO2 at their chosen locations.
Clean Air Together is a joint project between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce.
The project aims to create a better understanding of NO2 air pollution in Dublin and Cork City. The citizen measurements will help the EPA develop air pollutant mapping and forecasting models for the whole of Ireland in the Life Emerald Project. This will include the development of an air quality forecast scheduled for completion before the end of 2023. The air quality maps and forecasts will go on to inform policies aimed at improving air quality and lowering levels of NO2.
In total, over 3,000 residents have applied to participate in the Clean Air Together projects to date. This huge level of public interest and the number of valid results points to a public willingness to participate in citizen science and illustrates the success of the initiative. The EPA and An Taisce therefore extends a massive THANK YOU to all who participated, supported, and gathered important data on traffic pollution in both Dublin and Cork City by measuring NO2 outside their property. The work could not have been done without you.