- Individuals can significantly contribute to the reduction of air pollution in their communities, as stated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- EPA outlines four strategies to cut down air pollution: preferring walking or public transportation, adjusting air conditioning to a higher temperature, switching off lights and electronic devices when not required, and avoiding the use of gasoline-operated equipment on days of unhealthy air quality.
- Free air-quality notifications from the EPA can keep individuals informed about the air quality in their area, alerting them when high concentrations of ground-level ozone or fine particulate air pollution are forecasted.
- A recent stricter ozone standard has increased the number of ozone-related air quality alerts but the amount of unhealthy ozone days in New England significantly dropped since the early 80s.
- Ground-level ozone is primarily created by chemical reactions between compounds from automobile emissions, chemical solvents, and industrial plant discharges, while fine particle pollution often contains invisible toxic chemicals like arsenic and mercury.
The haze-filled days of summer bring harmful levels of smog, especially in the northeastern regions of the U.S. It’s crucial to acknowledge that we, as individuals, can contribute significantly to the reduction of air pollution in our communities, as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Smog comprises of ground-level ozone and particulate matter, contributing to air pollution.
“Air contamination is a crucial public health concern for the New England region,” claimed Curt Spalding, the regional leader of the New England office at the EPA.
“New England residents need to be aware of air quality alerts and limit vigorous outdoor activities on alert days. Furthermore, each of us can adopt measures to mitigate air contamination, thereby reducing public health risks,” he emphasised in a news briefing.
EPA’s Guideline to Control Air Pollution
During Air Quality Awareness Week in the first week of May, the EPA suggested four ways to cut down on air pollution:
- Prefer walking or public transportation whenever feasible.
- Adjust the air conditioning to a higher temperature.
- Switch off lights and electronic devices when they are not required.
- On days of unhealthy air quality, avoid utilizing gasoline-operated equipment such as lawn mowers, trimmers, chain saws, power washers, air compressors, and leaf blowers.
If you want to stay informed about the air quality in your area, there’s an option to subscribe to free air-quality notifications from the EPA. Participants will be alerted via email or text message when their area is forecasted to have high concentrations of ground-level ozone or fine particulate air pollution.
In New England, state air agencies issue daily forecasts of air quality. Current air-quality conditions and forecasts for the following day are also accessible on the EPA website.
A Stricter Ozone Standard
A more stringent ozone standard was implemented in recent times, leading to an anticipated increase in the number of ozone-related air quality alerts in New England over the summer.
However, the amount of unhealthy ozone days in New England has significantly dropped since the early 1980s. For instance, there were 118 unhealthy days in 1983 compared to 38 in 2015, as stated by the EPA.
Typically, ground-level ozone is created by chemical reactions between compounds from sources such as automobile emissions, chemical solvents, and industrial plant discharges. Fine particle pollution often consists of invisible toxic chemicals, like arsenic and mercury.
To receive EPA air quality alerts, you can sign up here.