NH DES declared Air Quality Action days in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties yesterday and today. We are accustomed to hearing the term – Air Quality Action, but just what does that mean?
When the NH DES declares air quality action days, unhealthy concentrations of ground-level ozone (the biggest part of smog) and particle pollution (fine particles) are in the air. Heat and wind can be contributing factors. NH DES has air quality monitoring stations throughout the state. When the conditions are right for the air quality to be all wrong, the agency issues alerts, as they did yesterday and today for Hillsborough and Rockingham counties. This particular alert was issued for “sensitive individuals.”
Are you a sensitive individual?
Sensitive individuals include children and seniors; anyone who lives with lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis; and people who are active outdoors – like some DOT and DES workers. Even if you are healthy you could experience mild health effects and should think seriously about limiting strenuous or lengthy outdoor activities.
How do you know if you are being affected by the air quality?
Symptoms of ozone exposure include:
- chest tightness
- pain when inhaling deeply
- shortness of breath
You can check into the air quality every day by calling 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the NHDES website at airquality.nh.gov.
NH is a great place to enjoy summer fun and activities – just remember to use good judgement and caution when it comes to the air quality.