FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has issued an air quality warning for Fairfield County until 11 p.m. Thursday night.
The DEEP said ozone levels will be moderate to “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” The department defines "unhealthy for sensitive groups" as increasing respiratory or breathing discomfort for “active children and adults with respiratory disease, such as asthma.”
According to the National Weather Service, an air quality warning is issued when the ground level ozone may or has exceeded unhealthy levels. Ground level ozone is “formed when two types of pollutants react in the presence of sunlight. These pollutants are known as volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen" found in emissions from cars or construction equipment.
Daytime temperatures are predicted to hit the high 80s. The National Weather Service says there's a chance of mid-afternoon thunderstorms across the county.
AirNow, a department within the EPA, recommends that members of sensitive groups limit the amount of time spent outside. Breathing high levels of ozone can be hazardous to your health. High levels of ozone may:
- Make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously.
- Cause shortness of breath and pain when taking a deep breath.
- Cause coughing and sore or scratchy throat.
- Inflame and damage the lung lining.
- Make the lungs more susceptible to infection.
- Aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- Increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
- Continue to damage the lungs even when the symptoms have disappeared.
For more information about the alert, visit the DEEP website.