Southwestern NH Expecting Unhealthy Levels of Air Pollution; Officials Call for ‘Air Quality Action Day’

Posted by erik devaney

New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services is expecting unhealthy levels of air pollution in the southwestern part of the state.

Populated valley areas in southwestern New Hampshire, especially Keene, will likely experience the worst conditions on Wednesday.

In response, 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 exertion.

Sensitive individuals include children, older adults, and anyone with heart or lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. Even healthy individuals may experience mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged activities.

Symptoms of pollution exposure for people with heart disease may include chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. People with asthma and other existing lung diseases may not be able to breathe as deeply or vigorously as normal and may experience symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath. In addition to harmful health effects, fine particle pollution may create hazy conditions that reduce visibility.

The State says the cold, calm air and rising temperatures with altitude on Wednesday will limit air movement and trap pollutants in valley areas. Much of this pollution comes from heating devices, especially wood-burning stoves and boilers. It gets trapped and concentrated near the ground.

Conditions are expected to improve Thursday morning as wind speeds increase, resulting in better mixing and cleaner air.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(With additional information from New England Post)

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Posted by erik devaney on Nov 2 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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