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Impact of Canadian wildfires expected to continue through Wednesday

Release Date: 06/01/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – June 1, 2010) - Fine particle concentrations are expected to exceed the air quality health standard on June 2, 2010, in northern New Hampshire and Maine, with the highest or “generally unhealthy” concentrations expected in Maine.

Elevated fine particle concentrations were recorded in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont on Monday, May 31, 2010. See http://www.epa.gov/ne/airquality/pm25exceed-10.html

“We are expecting Wednesday to be another unhealthy air quality day in northern New England,” said Curt Spalding, administrator of EPA’s New England office. “On these days, EPA and the medical community suggest that people limit their strenuous outdoor activity.”

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 people with cardiopulmonary disease and older people.

When particulate concentrations are predicted to be “generally unhealthy,” people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

In order to help New England residents prepare for poor air quality, EPA and the New England states provide real-time air quality data and forecasts. The real-time air quality data and forecasts are available at http://www.epa.gov/ne/aqi/index.html .

People can also sign up at http://www.enviroflash.info/ to receive air quality alerts. The Enviroflash program is a free service provided by EPA in conjunction with the New England states which automatically notifies you by e-mail when poor air quality is predicted in your area.

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