DES Declares Air Quality Action Day
Unhealthy Air Pollution Levels Predicted for Friday and Saturday
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in coastal Rockingham County and at elevations above 3000 feet on Friday, May 31 and expanding on Saturday, June 1 to an area that includes all of Rockingham, Hillsborough, and Merrimack Counties, as well as at elevations above 3000 feet. DES officials are calling for Air Quality Action Days and advise sensitive individuals in these areas to take precautions to protect their health by limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. Sensitive individuals include children and older adults, anyone with 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 outdoor activities.
DES forecasts unhealthy concentrations of ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) for sensitive individuals in the above-mentioned regions. The expected unhealthy air quality is due to the persistence of high temperatures under sunny skies and light winds that will bring pollution into New Hampshire from surrounding areas. Conditions are expected to improve on Sunday as clouds and cleaner air move into the region.
Symptoms of ozone exposure include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain when inhaling deeply, and shortness of breath. The severity of the health effects increases as ozone concentrations increase.
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.