DES Declares Air Quality Action Day
Unhealthy Air Pollution Levels Predicted for September 2
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties, as well as elevations above 3000 feet, on Thursday, September 2. DES officials are calling for an Air Quality Action Day and advise sensitive individuals in these areas to take precautions to protect their health by limiting prolonged or heavy exertion. Sensitive individuals include children and older adults, anyone with heart or lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, and people who are active outdoors. Even healthy individuals may experience mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged activities.
DES forecasts unhealthy concentrations of ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) for sensitive individuals in Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties. In addition, concentrations of fine particle pollution are forecasted to approach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals statewide. The combination of the two pollutants may intensify health effects.
Air pollution has been building up over the eastern United States under the persistence of high temperatures, sunny skies, and light winds leading to predicted unhealthy air quality in New Hampshire. Conditions are expected to improve on Friday as cooler, cleaner air moves into the region.
Symptoms of ozone exposure include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain when inhaling deeply, and shortness of breath. 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 ozone and fine particle concentrations increase. In addition to harmful health effects, fine particle pollution may create hazy conditions that reduce visibility.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, visit the DES website at www.airquality.nh.gov, or sign up for personalized email alerts at www.enviroflash.info.
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