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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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Media Center
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: June 1, 2010
CONTACT: Kathleen Brockett (603) 271-6284 or (603) 491-0749 (cell)
Jeff Underhill 419-0330 (cell)

Canadian Forest Fires Continue to Affect Air Quality in Northern New Hampshire State Declares Air Quality Action Day
State Declares Air Quality Action Day
Unhealthy Air Pollution Levels Predicted for June 2

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to approach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in northern areas of the state tomorrow, June 2, as smoke from the Canadian forest fires continues to bring fine particle pollution into the state. Counties affected include Coos and Carroll.

DES officials are calling for an Air Quality Action Day tomorrow and advise sensitive individuals in the northern regions of the state to take precautions to protect their health by reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Sensitive individuals include children, older adults, and anyone with heart or lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. Even healthy individuals may experience mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged activities. In addition to harmful health effects, fine particle pollution in the smoke creates hazy conditions that reduce visibility.

Symptoms of particle pollution exposure for people with heart disease may include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. People with existing lung diseases may not be able to breathe as deeply or vigorously as normal and may experience symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath. The severity of the health effects increases as fine particle concentrations increase. While it may not be present all the time, the smell of smoke may be evident to some individuals.

The expected unhealthy air quality is due to the build up of smoke over Canada from wild fires that continue to burn in Quebec, and a northwest flow of air that is expected to bring the smoke into northern New Hampshire. The State of Maine is also expected to be impacted by the smoke. The extent of the fires and future weather conditions will determine how long the unhealthy air quality may last. Additional air quality notices will be issued if necessary as conditions change over the next few days.

For further information, contact DES at (603) 271-1370. For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire, call 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the DES website at www.airquality.nh.gov.

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
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