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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C

# Pollution

This month
March 2023
# Climate Change
UN talks on agreement to protect the high seas continue into the early morning
The high seas comprise more than 60% of the world’s oceans and nearly half the planet’s surface.
This year
# Biodiversity
Two thirds of reef sharks and rays risk extinction due to climate change and overfishing
Sharks are under most threat in the Western Atlantic and parts of the Indian Ocean.
Last year
# Pollution
Air pollution killed 238,000 Europeans prematurely in 2020, EU watchdog says
That was slightly more than those recorded in 2019 in the EU.
# beefed up
Local councils hiring inspectors to target farms over pollution concerns
It follows concerns over the impact agriculture has been having on water quality in a number of regions.
# Investigation
Concerns over data submitted by Wexford power plant to EPA
Independent report alleges a ‘major issue’ with water quality monitoring near SSE’s Great Island Power Station.
# sulphur dioxide
Noxious gases from erupting Icelandic volcano threaten nearby village
The pollution could reach the capital Reykjavik, 40 kilometres from the volcano, by tomorrow.
# Ecuador
Oil spill pollutes nature reserve in Ecuador's Amazon
Neither the government nor OCP Ecuador have quantified the extent of the spill.
# Sri Lanka
Elephants dying from eating plastic waste in Sri Lankan dump, conservationists warn
Around 20 elephants have died over the last eight years after consuming plastic trash in the dump.
All time
# cop26
Climate activists deflate tyres of ‘luxury’ cars in Glasgow protest
Around 60 cars in the west end of Glasgow were targeted.
# septic tanks
Over half of septic tanks failed their 2020 inspection, says EPA
Over a fifth were also found to be a risk to human life or the environment.
# Study
Microplastics in Irish waters 'pass up the food chain' into systems of humans and larger animals
The findings were contained in research carried out by scientists at UCC.
# microplastics
Brown Thomas and Arnotts remove 470 cosmetic glitter products from sale
The group said the move is part of its drive to reduce plastic pollution and manage its environmental footprint.
Pollution causes around 725 deaths in Dublin each year, with 144 linked to diesel emissions, study finds
The EPA study based its findings on an analysis of the level of particulate matter (PM2.5) found in the capital.
# Pollution
Plume of Sahara dust causes spike in European air pollution
The cloud of fine sand blown northward from Algeria tinted skies red and mixed with snowfall in the Alps and Pyrenees, leaving slopes looking orange.
# do not swim
Swimming was banned at bathing spots across Ireland for over 350 days this year
Noteworthy analysis of EPA data shows that “do not swim” notices are an all too common occurrence at beaches across the country.
# dublin bay
Major leisure and biodiversity centre in Booterstown refused planning permission over pollution concerns
The site is located opposite the former Tara Towers Hotel on the Merrion Road.
# Research
Study finds link between air pollution and neurological disorders
The study is the first nationwide analysis of the link between fine particulate pollution and neurodegenerative diseases in the US.
# Pollution
Plastic in the Atlantic Ocean is far beyond levels previously estimated
Researchers believe plastic levels in the Atlantic are ten times higher than previous estimates suggest.
# Pollution
Link between strokes and air pollution rise in winter, RCSI research finds
Higher levels of nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide showed a 3.5% higher risk of stroke.
Opinion: After the Covid-19 masks are gone, will we breathe cleaner air?
Dr Karen Moore of the An Taisce Green-Schools programme wonders if despite Covid-19 and the lockdown, can we take some long-lasting benefits from it all – for the air we breathe, our health and quality of life.
# Pollution
​​Smoky coal ban extended to all towns with populations of over 10,000 people
The new ban kicks in on 1 September.
# plastic pollution
Over 30% of all plastic exported from Europe may not be recycled, according to Irish study
The work was carried out by researchers from NUIG and University of Limerick.
# Pollution
Wet wipes: 50% of brands labelled 'flushable' actually contain microplastics (and shouldn't be flushed)
The researched looked at how sanitary products are polluting Irish oceans.
# clearing the air
Fall in air pollution from traffic since Covid-19 restrictions
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nitrogen dioxide levels have dropped in tandem with the sharp fall in car use over the past months.
# clearing the air
Dramatic fall in Ireland's transport pollution as we undertake 'natural experiment'
Since Covid-19 restrictions came into force the use of planes, trains and vehicles have all dramatically fallen.
# Troubled Waters
Water quality in almost half of Ireland's lakes and rivers deemed unsatisfactory
Coastal waters had the highest proportion of water bodies in good or high ecological status, according to an EPA report.
# Pollution
Levels of dangerous air pollutant NO2 possibly exceeding limits on M50 and on Dublin streets
A new report from the Environment Protection Agency looks at indicators of the levels of NO2 in the air in Dublin.
# climate action
Ireland is 'buying' its way out of meeting its emission targets by spending €86.8m worth of carbon credits
TD Seán Fleming said it was ‘the biggest act of gross hypocrisy’ at play.
# Pollution
Law to ban microbeads in Ireland set to be published
Microbeads are mostly used in some soaps, shower gels and facial scrubs.
# rté investigates
Internal documents show up to one million litres of oil leaked from ESB underground cables
An RTÉ Investigates programme will look into the pollution.
# Breathing
Traffic pollution causing 1,700 new cases of asthma in Ireland every year
It means 150 in every 100,000 children here are diagnosed with asthma as a result of traffic pollution.
# clean oceans
New plan to use Irish fishing trawlers to remove plastic from oceans
Planned on-shore and on-board facilities could help solve the problem.
# microbeads
The government is declaring war in 2019 (on single-use plastics)
Unnecessary use of the plastics will be completely banned in the public sector.
# No Cars Go
Madrid takes drastic action to curb emissions by closing city centre to car traffic
And from March, drivers who go in illegally will be fined €90.
# downstream
Water quality in Irish rivers and lakes is more often getting worse, not better
The results are from a new report by the EPA.
# What a Load of Rubbish
Litter survey finds majority of Irish rivers, beaches and harbours are polluted: here are the biggest blackspots
Just four out of 50 areas inspected were found to be clean to European standards.
# surprise discovery
Scientists have accidentally created a mutant enzyme that eats plastic
It appears to feed exclusively on a type of plastic used widely in plastic bottles.
# boracay island
'A cesspool': Philippines to close its most popular tourist island for six months
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the shutdown to start on 26 April.
# not suckin' diesel
It begins - German court rules that cities can ban diesel cars to combat air pollution
The move paves the way for the phasing out of diesel vehicles in a country with a huge automotive industry.
# India
India's capital is polluted with smog... but these Delhi offices have air as fresh as the Swiss Alps
The Paharpur Business Centre has more than 7,000 plants pumping fresh air into its offices.