Project launched by DIT to study a Day in the Life of Dublin's Air Quality

 24 March 2004: Dublin Institute of Technology, in association with Dublin City Council and the European Commission, Joint Research Centre today announced a recruitment drive for hundreds of volunteers needed to execute a massive experiment in Air Pollution Monitoring in Dublin City.

L to R: Pat Goodman, Lecturer/Researcher, School of Physics, DIT and Professor Luke Clancy, Respiratory Physician, St James's Hospital Dublin

Entitled the PEOPLE project, the study is an assessment of how people in Dublin City are exposed to the cancer-causing pollutant benzene, which is commonly found in both indoor and outdoor air. The main sources of benzene include petrol fumes, and it is also one of the many toxic chemicals associated with tobacco smoke.

What makes this study different is that the help of several hundred volunteers will be enlisted in monitoring for this compound, in addition to the measurements being carried out on indoor and outdoor air on the day by experts.  The project will take place in Dublin on the 28th April 2004.

Dr Emile De Saeger, EU Commission & Joint Research Centre, Ispra Italy

Volunteers will be issued with a small badge that acts as a benzene sampler, which they will wear for twelve hours over the course of the day, and keep a diary of their activities.  The range of volunteers selected will include smokers, non-smokers, public transport commuters, car drivers and cyclists.   

Speaking at the launch of the project today in City Hall, Mr. Martin Fitzpatrick, Principal Environmental Health Officer Dublin City Council, said 'An estimated three million deaths occur worldwide each year from the effects of air pollution, half of which can be traced to vehicle emissions. Research projects like PEOPLE are invaluable in that they will provide decision makers, environment and health professionals, and the general public with a clearer understanding of urban air pollution and its impact on health.'

The PEOPLE project has already been successfully completed in other major European cities, including Brussels, Lisbon, Bucharest and Madrid.  Now volunteers from all walks of life across Dublin are being invited to participate in the project to assess their personal exposure to benzene.

L to R: Dr Emile De Saeger, EU Commission & Joint Research Centre, Ispra Italy; Duncan Stewart, Environmentalist and TV Presenter and Pat Goodman, Lecturer/Researcher, School of Physics, DIT

According to Dr. Patrick Goodman, Senior DIT Researcher 'We need the people of Dublin to help us by volunteering to wear a monitoring badge on the PEOPLE project day on the 28th April 2004.'

To volunteer for the project telephone 402 4717 and answer a confidential questionnaire or you can fill it online at

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