Heat wave prompts air quality warning

The EPA warned that air quality along parts of the New England coast could reach unhealthy levels until Saturday. Credit: Google Images
The EPA warned that air quality along parts of the New England coast could reach unhealthy levels until Saturday. Credit: Google Images

Heading to the beach sounds like the perfect plan during a heat wave, but people with breathing problems may want to think twice.

Forecasters expected temperatures to be in the low 90s through the weekend, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to warn that ground-level ozone could cause poor air quality from Thursday until Saturday.

The warning covers the southern coast of Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, along with coastal areas of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

On its website, the state Department of Environmental Protection predicted that Thursday’s air quality in southern Massachusetts would be “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” such as people with asthma, respiratory infections, and lung or heart disease.

“The good news is that everybody can help reduce smog-forming emissions by driving less, by using public transportation and by setting air conditioner thermostats a few degrees higher,” Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, said in a statement.

Spalding also recommended against using small gas-powered engines, like the ones on lawn mowers, chainsaws and tractors.

The weather is not expected to cool down until Monday, when temperatures should be in the 70s.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


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