Warm weather brings poor air quality

It’s another busy day at D.E.E.P. headquarters in Hartford.

“Yeah we have a unique situation with Long Island Sound with the plume off New York City” Mentioned one of the D.E.E.P. meteorologists.

Forecasters are looking at another round of models to predict just how bad the air quality will be in the coming days. The problem is, this time of the year is always the worst for people with sensitivity to pollution.

Paul Farrell, Asst. Director of  Air Planning D.E.E.P., states, “So we definitely see it more in Connecticut beginning in June, really peaking in August and some of those warmer Septembers is where it really starts to trail off.”

So what makes air quality so bad in the warm weather months? Well all year long, we produce pollutants. Power plants produce electricity, cars drive to and from work. These emissions combine with sunshine to produce ozone, which is beneficial when released into the atmosphere. High pressure may give us sunshine and warm temps this time of the year, but it also causes ozone to sit at the surface, causing the haze and smog we think of this time of the year. In order for ozone to be produced, you also need sunshine which we have many hours of this time of the year. So what happens when you breathe in ozone?

“So it is like you have a sun burn on your lungs, so you breathe that in, you feel constricted and if you have a pre-existing health condition like asthma, COPD, being exposed to ozone can really cause significant health impacts.”, said Ferrell.

The advice is to slow down and don’t run when you’re outside. Also make sure to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing breathing issues this time of the year because it may be due to an underlying heath condition.



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