The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals on Thursday, August 12, and Friday, August 13.
NHDES 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 outdoor exertion. Sensitive individuals include children and older adults; anyone with lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis; and people who are active outdoors. Even non-sensitive individuals could experience mild health effects and may want to consider limiting strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities.
NHDES forecasts ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) concentrations to rise to levels that are unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the above-mentioned region. The predicted air pollution will transport with the winds along a band stretching from the New York City area through the coast of Maine. This band will pass over, and be enhanced by, emissions from the Boston metropolitan area prior to reaching the New Hampshire coastline area. High temperatures and sunny skies enhance the creation of ozone from these precursor pollutants. Air quality is expected to improve on Saturday as cloudier skies and somewhat cooler temperatures move into the area and help inhibit the formation of ozone.
Symptoms of ozone exposure may include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or pain when inhaling deeply. The symptom severity can increase as ozone concentrations increase.
For further information, call NHDES at (603) 271-1370. For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire, call 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the NHDES website at https://www4.des.state.nh.us/airdata/