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MAINE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
Air Quality Alert for Tuesday and Wednesday
July 8, 2008
According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), on Tuesday, ground-level ozone concentrations are expected to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” level for the Southwest Coast, Mid-Coast, Western Interior and Eastern Interior regions while “unhealthy” levels are expected for the high elevations of Acadia National Park. The coastal regions are likely to record higher levels of ozone than interior regions so everyone, not just sensitive groups, should take precautions.
It currently looks like ozone levels will reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” level again on Wednesday.
At high ozone levels, individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, children, and healthy active adults can experience reduced lung function and irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.
Some actions you can take to protect your health during periods of unhealthy air quality include:
Ground level ozone is formed by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and sunlight. Man-made sources of NOx and VOCs include automobiles, trucks and buses, large combustion and industrial sources such as power generating facilities, consumer products such as paints and cleaners, and gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Citizens can take the following actions to help reduce emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone:
For more information call DEP's toll free ozone hotline at 1-800-223-1196 or visit DEP’s air quality web site by going to MaineDEP.com and select ‘Maine Air Quality Forecast.’
Contact:Martha Webster, Maine DEP
Last update: 07/20/10
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