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Air Quality Warning Expands in New Hampshire; Unhealthy for “sensitive groups”

On Wednesday, environmental officials advised “sensitive individuals” to take precautions for their breathing and health by “limiting prolonged outdoor exertion” in Belknap, Cheshire, Southern Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan counties. Children and older adults as well as “all people with lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis as well as people who exercise outdoors” are primarily affected, according to a warning.

“Even healthy individuals may experience mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities,” officials said.

Ground-level ozone — the main component of wind-borne smog outside the Granite State — will exacerbate the problem because it is coupled with normal air pollution in New Hampshire. High temperatures – expected to be in the upper 80s and lower 90s on Wednesday – and sunny skies “increase the formation of ozone from these precursor pollutants.” Air quality is expected to improve on Thursday due to cloud cover moving into the region and Rainfall improved.

“Symptoms of ozone exposure may include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or pain when taking deep breaths,” the alert warned. “People with asthma and other existing lung conditions may not be able to breathe as deeply or forcefully as normal and may experience symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath. The severity of symptoms may increase as air pollutant concentrations increase.”

For more information, contact NH DES at 603-271-1370 or visit the state air data website linked here.

For the latest weather conditions, see the home page of every Patch.com site in the United States, including the 14 New Hampshire Patch news and community sites covering Amherst, Bedford, Concord, Exeter, Hampton, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Salem, Windham and Across NH. Local weather reports for New Hampshire are published Sundays and Thursdays. Alerts are issued as needed.

Anna Harden

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