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Unhealthy Particle Levels Occurring in Most of New England Today Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine

Release Date: 07/23/04
Contact Information: Contact: David Deegan, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2004; Release # 04-07-24

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is issuing an air quality advisory for Friday, July 23, due to unhealthy levels of fine particles throughout most of New England, with the exception of Rhode Island, where particle levels are in the moderate range. The elevated particle levels are caused by the wild fires raging in the southeastern United States. The haze in New England will clear early Saturday morning with the passage of a strong cold front.

Exposure to elevated particulate levels can increase the likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravate heart or lung disease and cause premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.

While the smoke and haze are still present, people with respiratory ailments or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.

Major sources of particulate pollution are factories, power plants, trash incinerators, motor vehicles, construction activity, fires, and natural windblown dust.

In order to help New England residents prepare for poor air quality this summer, EPA and the New England states provide real-time ozone data and air quality forecasts. The real-time air quality data and forecasts are available at

People can also sign up to receive air quality alerts from EPA’s New England office at the above internet address. The alert program is a free service provided by EPA in conjunction with the New England states which automatically notifies you by e-mail or fax when poor air quality is predicted in your area.

Related Information:
Sign up for Air Quality

Air Quality Index
Air Quality Web Site