News Releases from Region 01
BOSTON – New England air quality forecasters are predicting air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups on Saturday, June 5, 2021, due to ground-level ozone formation stemming from hot, summery temperatures.
Areas that are predicted to exceed the federal air quality standard for ozone this Saturday are:
- Southeastern Coastal Connecticut
- The State of Rhode Island
- Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands
Poor air quality is expected to continue into Sunday.
EPA and the medical community suggest that people limit their strenuous outdoor activity when poor air quality is expected. On these days, people can also help reduce emissions by choosing to carpool, using public transportation, and limiting the use of electricity during peak electrical use hours.
Ground-level ozone forms when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (ozone precursors) interact in the presence of strong sunshine. Cars, trucks, and buses give off most of the pollution that creates ozone. Gasoline stations, print shops, household products like paints and some cleaners, as well as lawn and garden equipment, also add to the ozone problem.
Exposure to elevated ozone levels can cause breathing problems, aggravate asthma and other pre-existing lung diseases, and make people more susceptible to respiratory infection. When ozone levels are elevated, people should refrain from strenuous outdoor activity, especially sensitive populations such as children and adults with respiratory problems.
When ozone is forecasted to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, members of the public are encouraged to help limit emissions and reduce ozone by:
- Using public transportation if possible;
- Combining errands and car-pooling to reduce driving time and mileage;
- Using less electricity by turning air conditioning to a higher temperature setting; turning off lights, TVs, and computers when they are not being used; and
- Avoiding using small gasoline-powered engines, such as lawn mowers, string trimmers, chain saws, power-washers, air compressors and leaf blowers on unhealthy air days.
The current ozone standard is 0.070 parts per million (ppm). So far, this year there have been three days in New England when ozone concentrations have exceeded the federal standard.
Preliminary list of this summer’s ozone exceedances: https://www3.epa.gov/region1/airquality/o3exceed-21.html
Real-time ozone data and air quality forecasts: https://www3.epa.gov/region1/airquality/aqi.html
National real-time air quality data: https://www.airnow.gov