Department monitors high NI pollution levels

Air pollution is affecting the north west in particular
Air pollution is affecting the north west in particular

High levels of air pollution (particulate matter) are currently being monitored in the Londonderry area, the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs revealed on Sunday.

The department said low levels of air pollution, caused by the spell of cold, calm weather, are also being monitored elsewhere in the Province, saying “there is a possibility that other urban areas will experience high air pollution as a result of the current weather conditions”.

The statement, which warned of possible health dangers, said: “The pollution is likely to persist overnight and into Monday, with the situation improving from tomorrow evening onwards.

“These pollution levels are the result of the cold, calm weather conditions we are currently experiencing, which can lead to the build up of local emissions from vehicles and home heating.

“During periods of high air pollution the symptoms of people with lung or heart disease may worsen. Healthy people are unlikely to experience any ill effects.

“Hourly updates on levels of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide are available on the Department’s website: and the Department’s freephone helpline 0800 556 677, which also offers health advice to those who may be particularly sensitive to air pollution.”