Air Quality Monitoring
The main pollutant of concern in Newtownabbey is nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
We monitor for nitrogen dioxide by using continuous analysers and diffusion tubes. We operate three continuous analysers in the Borough that monitor nitrogen dioxide. These continuous monitors are currently located at Sandyknowes Roundabout, Antrim Road at Elmfield and Main Street Ballyclare. Continuous analysers are an accurate method of monitoring and provide real time data and can be used to find hourly concentrations, annual averages and trends. The analysers require regular maintenance and fortnightly calibration which is undertaken by our officers.
Further information on air quality monitoring in Newtownabbey, including pollutant levels and monitoring results can be viewed at thewebsite.
Nitrogen dioxide is also measured by passive diffusion tubes. These are small plastic tubes with a metal grid at one end which is coated with a chemical called 'triethanolamine absorbent' (TEA) which absorbs the nitrogen dioxide as nitrite. The tubes are replaced every 4-5 weeks by the Environmental Protection team and sent for analysis at an approved laboratory. We currently have 22 of these tubes around Newtownabbey on busy roads and junctions. However diffusion tubes can only be used to find annual average concentrations and are only +/- 25% accurate. We review monitoring data from these tubes on a regular basis and the results form the basis of our review and assessment of air quality in the city.