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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Media Center

DATE: July 29, 2019
CONTACTS: Sherry Godlewski (603) 271-6801
Jeff Underhill (603) 271-1102

NHDES Declares Air Quality Action Day
Unhealthy Air Pollution Levels Predicted for Tomorrow

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in Coastal Rockingham County on Tuesday, July 30. This includes the city of Portsmouth and the towns of Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, North Hampton, Rye and Seabrook. NHDES officials are calling for an Air Quality Action Day and advise sensitive individuals in this area to take precautions to protect their health by limiting prolonged outdoor exertion. Sensitive individuals include children and older adults; anyone with lung disease such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis; and people who are active outdoors. Even healthy individuals may experience mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities.

NHDES forecasts unhealthy concentrations of ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) for sensitive individuals in the above-mentioned region. Additionally, moderate levels of fine particle pollution are expected statewide during this period. The predicted unhealthy air quality comes from the persistence of high temperatures under sunny skies. In addition, winds transport pollutant emissions into New Hampshire from surrounding areas which, in turn, can combine with local emissions. Air is expected to be cleaner on Wednesday as lower temperatures and cloudier skies move into the region.

Symptoms of ozone exposure include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain when inhaling deeply, and shortness of breath. The severity of the health effects increases as ozone concentrations increase.

For further information, call NHDES at (603) 271-1370. For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire, call 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the NHDES website at

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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