Air Quality Alert in effect for Thursday afternoon/evening

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The warm weather has finally arrived, but it’s brought with it some serious health concerns.

An Air Quality Alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon, extending into the late hours of the evening, due to a spike in ground-level ozone concentrations.

After a few days of damp, dreary weather, we had temperatures in the high 80’s on Wednesday and it could be even warmer on Thursday. The combination of warm temperatures, sunshine, and pollution leads to poor air quality, which could hurt children, the elderly, and those with underlying respiratory diseases.

More Information: Ozone, air quality alerts, and how they can affect your health »

Health officials advise limiting outdoor exercise and strenuous activity during the alert and staying in an air-conditioned environment if possible, especially during the afternoon and evening hours, when ozone levels are highest.

Southern New Englanders can also help reduce air pollutant emissions by limiting car travel and the use of small engines, such as lawn mowers.

In the above video, Meteorologist T.J. Del Santo learns more from Darren Austin, an air quality alert specialist at the DEM.

Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca will have live updates tonight on Eyewitness News starting live at 5.

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