Air Quality Awareness Week April 29 - May 3, 2019

April 23, 2019

CONTACT: David Madore, Communications Director (207) 287-5842 david.madore@maine.gov or Tom Downs, Chief Meteorologist (207) 287-7026 tom.downs@maine.gov

AUGUSTA, April 24, 2019 - Maine joins states across the nation in recognizing April 29 through May 3, 2019 as Air Quality Awareness Week. This year's theme "Check the AQI and Get Outside" was selected to increase air quality awareness and encourage people to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) to find out the best time to be active outdoors.

Maine DEP forecasts Ozone and Particle Pollution year-round and is available on DEP's website, via toll free hotline, EnviroFlash emails and text messages as well as on Twitter. Forecasts are issued using a color-based Air Quality Index created by EPA. Green - good; Yellow - moderate; orange - unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people and red - unhealthy pollution levels for all.

Both Ozone and Particle Pollution impact the lungs and heart. Ozone is produced in sunlight from pollutants in the air while Particle Pollution consists of direct emissions of pollution in addition to being created by chemical reactions in a polluted air mass. Maine's ozone season runs from late March to September while particle pollution levels are higher mostly during the summer and winter months.

Maine enjoys some of the best air quality in the nation with most air quality issues resulting from polluted air being transported into the state. DEP urges everyone to take steps to reduce emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone:

  • Conserve electricity
  • Choose a cleaner commute by carpooling or using public transportation where available
  • Combine errands, reduce trips
  • Limit idling
  • Refuel vehicles after dusk
  • Use environmentally friendly paints and cleaning products

For more information about Air Quality visit Maine DEP's website at https://www.maine.gov/dep/air/index.html or follow air quality by region on Twitter at:

Acadia-MaineDEP
https://twitter.com/MEair_Acadia

Portland-MaineDEP
https://twitter.com/MEair_Portland

Lewiston-MaineDEP
https://twitter.com/MEair_Lewiston

Bangor-MaineDEP
https://twitter.com/MEair_Bangor