Clean Outdoor Air

What is outdoor air pollution? 

There are many kinds of outdoor air pollution. Outdoor air pollution results when harmful chemicals, particles, and gases are discharged into the air we breathe. Ozone and particle pollution are two common pollutants found in many parts of the U.S.  

Ozone is a gas that has no smell or color.  It is formed when pollutants from industries, cars, trucks and other vehicles react chemically in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is usually at its worst during the afternoon hours.

Particle pollution is made up of tiny particles from a variety of places, including power plants, incinerators, wood stoves, and the natural environment, including dust, pollen, and dirt. Particle pollution causes haze, blurring the view in many cities.  

Who is most at risk from air pollution?

  • People with sensitive lungs, asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) or lung cancer
  • People with heart disease
  • Infants and children
  • Children and adults who are active or work outdoors

How can outdoor air pollution affect your health?

  • Irritated airways (coughing, difficulty breathing)
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Chronic lung disease, such as COPD
  • Permanent lung damage
  • Heart attacks 

How can you help to keep our air clean?

  • Don't smoke 
  • Carpool, walk, or ride a bike
  • Ride the bus or train to work, school, or shopping
  • When driving, avoid idling and quick starts
  • Keep your engine tuned and tires properly inflated 

What is the Air Quality Index?

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a scale used to report actual levels of ozone and other common pollutants in the air. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern.  This scale is used to help warn people of dangerous levels of pollution. Click here for current New Hampshire air quallity data.  Click here for the daily New Hampshire air quality forecast.

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