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September 11. 2013 11:59AM

Smog prompts air quality alert in Rockingham County today

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in Rockingham County Wednesday.

Calling for an Air Quality Action Day, DES is advising sensitive individuals in this area 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), due to the persistence of high temperatures under sunny skies and light winds transporting pollution into New Hampshire from surrounding areas. Conditions are expected to improve on Thursday 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 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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