The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in Rockingham County and at elevations above 3,000 feet on Sunday, June 11 and Monday, June 12. 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, 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.
NHDES 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 winds transporting pollution into New Hampshire from surrounding areas. Conditions are expected to improve on Tuesday as a cold front moves into the state increasing cloud cover and lowering temperatures.
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 NHDES at (603) 271-6801. For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire, call 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the NHDES website at www.airquality.nh.gov.