What do These Maps Show?

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Air Pollution

‡ The maps you just saw show ozone smog levels on two days last summer. ‡ This map shows the highest ozone levels recorded in 2001.
Good Moderate
Unhealthy for sensitive groups

Unhealthy Very Unhealthy

Where Did Acadia Go?

Keep clicking«.

Air Pollution Reduces Visibility Acadia National Park

‡

A Clear Day vs A Hazy Day

Air Pollution:
‡ Has many effects on public health and the environment. ‡ Comes in different forms and from many sources. ‡ Ozone and Particulate matter are two types of Air Pollution that affect Maine.

What is Ozone?
‡ An odorless, colorless gas composed of three oxygen atoms. ‡ Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects us from the sun¶s harmful ultraviolet rays. ‡ At ground-level in the air we breathe, ozone (smog) poses serious risks to human health.

Where Does Ozone Come From?
Ozone is created by a chemical reaction: + =

O3

VOC + NOx + Heat + Sunlight = Ozone VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) come from motor vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities, and other sources.

Why is Ozone Bad to Breathe?
‡ The average adult breathes enough air to fill over 3,000 balloons each day. Children breathe even more! ‡ Ozone can irritate lungs and airways, and cause inflammation much like a sunburn on your lungs. ‡ Ozone can aggravate respiratory illnesses like asthma. ‡ 10 to 20% of summertime respiratory-related hospital visits in the Northeast are associated with ozone pollution. ‡ Children and people with chronic lung diseases are particularly at risk.

Health Effects of Exposure to Ozone
‡ Coughing ‡ Nose and throat irritation ‡ Chest pain ‡ Reduced lung function ‡ Increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses ‡ Aggravation of asthma

The Air Quality Index
Air Quality Index (AQI) Values 0 to 50 51 to 100 101 to 150 151 to 200 201 to 300 301 to 500 Levels of Health Concern Good Moderate Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Unhealthy Very Unhealthy Hazardous

What Makes a Bad Ozone Day in New England?

Hot temperatures«

Sunny skies«

Southwest winds«

Unhealthy ozone levels

Number of Days Number of Days

10

15

20

10

15

20

25

30

0 0 5

5

19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
Unhealthy

83 84 85 86 87 88 19 19 89 88 87 89 19 86 19 85 19 84
Very Unhealthy

19 19 83

Very Unhealthy

Kennebunkport

Port Clyde

Ozone Trends in Maine

Unhealthy Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
Number of Days

90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01 90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01

Number of Days

10

15

20

25

30

10

15

20

25

30

0

5

0

5

19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
Unhealthy Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

83 84 85 86 87 88 89

19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
Unhealthy

83 84 85 86 87 88 89
Very Unhealthy

Very Unhealthy

Cape Elizabeth

Acadia National Park

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01

90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 00 20 01

Smog Alert Service
‡ Notifies you by e-mail or fax when ozone levels are predicted to be unhealthy in your area. ‡ Is available in most areas in New England. ‡ Is a free service. ‡ To receive Smog Alerts, register at (www.epa.gov/region01/oms)
Smog Alert Notification Areas Interior CT Coastal CT Rhode Island Southeastern MA Central & Northeastern MA Western MA Southern NH Coastal ME

Or contact Maine DEP¶s Ozone Hotline at 1-800-223-1196 or www.state.me.us/dep/air/ozone/ozone.htm

What is Particulate Matter?
‡ particles of different substances suspended in the air ‡ in the form of solid particles and liquid droplets ‡ particles vary widely in size

Where does Pm come from?
Fine particles come from a variety of sources:
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ diesel trucks and buses construction equipment power plants woodstoves wildfires

Also, Chemical reactions in the atmosphere can transform gases into fine particles.

How Fine is Fine?
‡ Fine particles are only a fraction of the size of a human hair.
Cross section of a human hair (magnified to 60 Qm)

Coarse Particles (10 Qm)

Fine Particles (2.5 Qm)

Why are Fine Particles Bad to Breathe?
‡ Scientific studies have linked fine particles with a series of significant health problems. ‡ Fine particles easily reach the deepest parts of the lungs. ‡ Particulate matter causes 15,000 premature deaths every year in the US. ‡ Fine particles from Diesel exhaust can cause lung cancer.

Health Effects of Exposure to Fine Particles
‡ Premature death ‡ Aggravated asthma ‡ Respiratory-related emergency room visits and hospital admissions ‡ Acute respiratory symptoms ‡ Chronic bronchitis ‡ Decreased lung function (shortness of breath) ‡ People with existing heart and lung disease, as well as the elderly and children, are particularly at risk

What Can You Do?
Reduce vehicle emissions: 
Drive less  Keep cars well maintained and tires properly inflated  Turn off the engine when your vehicle is not in motion  Purchase low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles  Share a ride, take public transportation bike, or walk  Cut your grass after 6 p.m.  Refuel your car after 6 p.m.  Combine errands into one trip

What Can You Do?
Conserve electricity: 
do not over-cool or over-heat buildings  turn off lights and appliances when not in use  Purchase electronics/appliances with energy star labels

To protect your health, avoid strenuous outdoor activities when ozone levels are high

This presentation was made possible by:

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (www.state.me.us/dep)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (www.epa.gov)

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