Air Quality Alert: Department of Energy & Environmental Protection Forecasts Unhealthy Levels of Ozone for Connecticut on Monday August 6, 2018
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is forecasting air quality along Connecticut’s coast will be Unhealthy today, August 6, 2018 and ozone levels across interior Connecticut will be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG). This ozone event will begin today August 6, 2018 and continue through at least tomorrow, Tuesday August 7, 2018. Depending on weather conditions, elevated ozone levels may last into Wednesday.
“Given the high temperatures today and high levels of forecasted ozone, it is important for everyone to take appropriate precautions, but our most vulnerable residents – children, the elderly and those with respiratory diseases should take extra precautions,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “To minimize adverse health impacts, those most sensitive to air pollution should limit prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity between noon and 8 P.M.”
Health Effects of Air Pollution
Health Effects of Air Pollution
When air quality is in the Unhealthy category everyone may begin to experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. When air quality is in the USG category, there is the likelihood of respiratory symptoms and breathing discomfort for sensitive groups. Children, people with asthma, and especially the elderly are most at risk for experiencing symptoms for the next several days when ozone levels are forecasted to reach USG levels. Active children, adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, are strongly advised to limit prolonged outdoor exertion today through Wednesday. Peak ozone levels are predicted to occur each day between 12-8 PM EDT. Residual levels of elevated ozone, however, may last into the evening and early morning hours, so DEEP urges everyone to check air quality levels periodically and take appropriate precautions.
This current heat wave will continue through Wednesday, after which a cold front will usher in a cleaner air-mass. The precise timing of the cold front will impact our air quality on Wednesday. High pressure setting up off the east coast will provide lots of sunshine, a southwest wind, and hot temperatures during the next three days. These weather conditions will transport already polluted air into Connecticut where it will mix with local emissions and form the secondary air pollutant, ozone (smog), today, Tuesday and possibly into Wednesday.
What You Can Do to Help
DEEP recommends simple, common sense steps to reduce your contribution to air pollution:
- Save Energy- setting air conditioners to 78o and “Wait ‘til 8” to use energy intensive appliances like washing machines, dryers and dishwashers;
- Drive Less - consider carpooling, vanpooling, using public transit or even telecommuting;
- Drive Clean – considered purchasing or leasing a plug-in electric vehicle. Learn more by visiting: www.driveelectricus.com;
- Be Aware of Your Air -Understand the Air Quality Index and sign up to receive alerts so you will know when air quality is predicted to be unhealthy; and
- When you know there will be an unhealthy air day-make small changes to your routine:
- Refuel your vehicle after dusk and stop refueling when the nozzle clicks off,
- Avoid idling your vehicle unnecessarily,
- Delay mowing your lawn or using other lawn and garden equipment until evening
- Limit your outdoor activity in the heat of the day,
- Refrain from recreational wood burning;
- Remember that knowledge is power! Ask your school if they participate in the School Flag Program, EPA’s Air Quality awareness tool that uses colored flags based on the AQI to notify teachers, students, administrators and the local community of air quality conditions.
Stay connected and access the daily AQI forecast and real-time air quality data
- Follow us on Twitter
- Sign up to get Air-Quality alerts through Enviroflash
- Visit DEEP’s AQI webpage or call 800-249-1234
- Go to EPA’s AIRNow web page
- Download EPA’s AIRnow app for your phone
Ozone Monitoring Season
DEEP monitors, tracks and forecasts daily air quality levels across Connecticut for ozone from May 1 through September 30 each year and for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) each day of the year. On April 30, 2018, DEEP began informing Connecticut’s regulated community and the general public of the ozone season via the State of Connecticut E-mail list serve and posting air quality forecasts on the DEEP web page, available here.
DEEP encourages daycare providers, summer camps and elder/senior centers to subscribe to the Air Quality Index (AQI). Subscribing to the AQI is fast and easy and will provide you with important information each day about Connecticut’s air quality through the spring and summer. The AQI link provides facts and information regarding ground-level ozone, its’ health effects, what today on high ozone day, and most importantly what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone in your backyard.