For Immediate Release
Date: June 17, 2024


Kathleen Errington
(603) 271-0871

NHDES Declares Air Quality Action Day: Air Pollution Levels Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Predicted for Tuesday

Concord, NH – Due to the incoming air mass and associated heat wave, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is expecting air pollution concentrations to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive individuals in Rockingham County on Tuesday June 18. In addition, other parts of New England are expected to see similar conditions. NHDES officials advise sensitive individuals 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. Any individuals who are considering vigorous or prolonged outdoor activities should take appropriate caution.

NHDES forecasts that concentrations of ground-level ozone (the main component of smog) will rise to levels that may affect sensitive individuals during afternoon and evening hours in the above-mentioned region. The predicted air pollution comes from winds transporting pollutant emissions into New Hampshire from surrounding areas, which combine with local emissions. High temperatures and sunny skies then enhance the creation of ozone from these precursor pollutants. There is potential for similar ozone conducive conditions to persist over the next few days. Air quality is expected to improve on Friday as cloud cover and precipitation chances increase.

Symptoms of ozone exposure may include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or pain when inhaling deeply. People with asthma and other existing lung diseases may not be able to breathe as deeply or vigorously as normal and may experience symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath. The symptom severity can increase as air pollutant 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