Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine on Monday, June 7, 2021 and are expected to reach unhealthy levels, according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in a news release. Ozone levels have been high upwind since June 2.
High levels began around Lake Michigan and have been slowly migrating eastward. By Saturday June 5, southern New England had very high levels of ozone even reaching into the Unhealthy (red) category, said Maine DEP. Transport winds are expected to direct the higher values to Maine on Monday. The unhealthy levels of ozone are possible along the entire coastline and the Eastern Interior.
At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD 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:
- Adjusting your schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon.
- Please consult the Maine CDC website for information on the health impacts of extreme heat and appropriate actions to take (http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/environmental-health/heat/).
- The Maine CDC Asthma Prevention and Control Program has asthma information available at their web site: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/mat
- For more information on asthma control visit EPA's Web site epa.gov/asthma to find information about asthma triggers and lessons on asthma management.
In addition to those in a sensitive group, sports coaches, elder care workers, nurses and others who are responsible for the welfare of people impacted by poor air quality are urged to use one of the listed tools to follow the Air Quality Forecast:
- Air Quality Forecast page: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/ which has links to:
- EnviroFlash, EPA's email and text alert system, http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/enviroflash.html
- Twitter, for sign up information go to: http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/twitter.html
- EPAs mobile app is available at: http://m.epa.gov/apps/airnow.html
- DEP's toll free air quality hotline is 1-800-223-1196
- For more information call the contacts listed above or go to DEPs air quality web site http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/