Air quality alert issued for Martha’s Vineyard

Air quality alert issued for Martha’s Vineyard

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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) predicts air quality on Martha’s Vineyard will approach levels that can cause difficulty breathing, especially for people who already have respiratory problems.

The state issued an air quality alert at 11 am today, effective through 11 pm tonight, because of elevated levels of ozone in the air. The alert covers all of the Cape and Islands.

At noon today, air quality was listed as moderate on the Island, and forecast to rise to a level labeled as “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

During the alert period DEP urges people to limit strenuous outdoor activity. High ozone levels can cause difficulty breathing, aggravate asthma and other lung diseases, and make people more susceptible to respiratory infection. Children and adults with respiratory problems are advised to take extra precautions.

Cars, trucks and buses give off the majority of the pollution create ozone. DEP asks people to drive less, use public transportation, and stop using small engines like lawnmowers and leaf blowers.