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EPA: Poor air quality expected for coastal Connecticut

By Judy Benson

Publication: theday.com

Published June 24. 2013 5:00PM   Updated June 24. 2013 5:35PM

Poor air quality, due to ground-level ozone, is expected for coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, southeastern Massachusetts and coastal Maine on Tuesday, the EPA said today.

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.

Ground-level ozone forms when volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen interact in the presence of strong sunlight. Electrical generating stations, cars, trucks, and buses give off the majority of the pollution which creates ozone. Gasoline stations, print shops, household products like paints and cleaners, as well as lawn and garden equipment also add significantly to the ozone problem. When ozone is forecast to be unhealthy, EPA asks the public to help reduce ozone by:

· Reducing electrical demand by turning air conditioners to a higher temperature setting, turning off unnecessary lights and appliances during the day and to deferring household chores such as laundry until nighttime.

· Using public transportation, car pooling or combining trips.

· Avoiding the use of small gasoline powered engines, such as lawn mowers and tractors, chain saws, power washers, string trimmers and leaf blowers.

Daily air quality forecasts can be found at: www.epa.gov/ne/aqi.

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