DEM: Air Quality Alert issued for Wednesday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has issued an Air Quality Alert for Wednesday, July 6.

According to DEM, air quality will reach unhealthy levels during the afternoon and evening hours across the state due to elevated ground-level ozone concentrations.

Unhealthy ozone levels can cause throat irritation, coughing, chest pains, shortness of breath and can aggravate asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Symptoms can also be worsened by exercise and heavy outdoor activity.

Residents should limit outdoor exercise and stay in air conditioned environments for the duration of the alert, DEM said. If you must participate in outdoor activities, try to schedule them for the morning hours.

Summer Resources: Air Quality Alert »

Below are some tips from DEM that can help contribute to lower ground level ozone levels and cleaner air:

  1. Limit driving. Avoid unnecessary car trips.  Carpool, walk or ride the bus or a bicycle whenever possible.
  2. Minimize starts and avoid unnecessary acceleration. Vehicle emissions are highest during starting and acceleration.
  3. Reduce idling. Avoid congested traffic and lines at drive-through windows.
  4. Drive your lowest emission vehicle. Use the most fuel-efficient, usually the newest, car you have whenever possible.
  5. Maintain your vehicle. Get a tune-up at the beginning of each summer.
  6. Minimize lawn mower emissions. Tune-up your lawn mower and use electric or hand-powered equipment if possible.
  7. Limit use of solvent-based household products. Use water-based or low solvent paints, varnishes, cleaners, and personal care products.
  8. Limit barbecue emissions. Use an electric starter instead of lighter fluid to start charcoal fires, or use an electric, natural gas, or propane grill.

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