Data released by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that levels of 210 closely-related, complex organic compounds – called dioxins – decreased in the year, indicating an improvement in the country’s environment.

Furthermore, the survey was been repeated in its entirety in 2007 and early indications suggest that results for the greater Dublin area will again be significantly lower.

“While some dioxin compounds were found in all samples, as expected, the concentrations were low by international standards,” said EPA programme manager Dr Ciaran O’Donnell.

“The survey confirms the continuing low levels of dioxins and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls in the Irish environment.”

Dr O’Donnell explained that the principal mechanism for the entry of dioxins into the environment in Ireland is by low-level emission from multiple combustion sources to the atmosphere.

These are subsequently deposited onto vegetation such as grass.

James Cooper

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