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UPDATE: Air Quality Health Advisory Ends

Small particles suspended in the air can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and sneezing—even worsen medical conditions.

DEC air monitoring sites
DEC air monitoring sites
State environmental officials have lifted the air quality advisory. 

Elevated levels of fine particles earlier today were due to a large brush fire in New Jersey but the regional air quality improved rapidly during the morning hours, the DEC said.

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Rockland County health officials warn residents that levels of pollution are exceeding air quality standards today in the NYC metro region—an issue of particular concern to infants, the sick, and elderly residents.

Here is the full text of the press release: 

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert is alerting residents that an Air Quality Health Advisory for the Metropolitan New York City region, including Rockland County, has been issued for today, April 7, 2014.

Air Quality Health Advisories are issued by the New York State Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation when levels of 
pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed national air quality standards, and be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The pollutant of concern for the Air Quality Health Advisory is fine particulate matter, also referred to as PM2.5.

Particulate matter (PM), is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Particles of concern include both very small, “fine” particles that can only be seen through an electron microscope, and somewhat larger “coarse” dust particles. 

Fine particles (PM2.5) have been more clearly linked to the most serious health problems, since they are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.

Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.

Exposure to elevated levels of fine particles can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with heart or breathing problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to fine particles. 

You can reduce your exposure to particles by reducing the amount of time spent at vigorous activity or choosing a less strenuous activity (for example, going for a walk instead of a jog) when particle levels are high.

When outdoor levels are elevated, going indoors may reduce your exposure. Tobacco, candle or incense smoke, and fumes from cooking are also sources of fine particles inside of your home. If these are present 
you are being exposed to higher levels and it can affect your health even more. If there are significant indoor sources of PM2.5, levels inside may not be lower than outside. Certain filters and room air cleaners are available that can help reduce particles indoors. For more information on indoor air pollution and filter devices, visit www.epa.gov/iaq

You also can reduce particles indoors by eliminating tobacco smoke and reducing your use of candles, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. 

Residents can stay informed about current air quality conditions by calling the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Air Quality Hotline at 1-800-535-1345, or by visiting their web site 
www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/aqi/aqi_forecast.cfm.

Information is also available by calling the NYSDOH Environmental Hotline toll-free at 1-800-458-1158 or by visiting www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/
indoors/air/pmq_a.htm.
Barry Cohen April 09, 2014 at 11:19 AM
It is very important to purchase the proper HEPA Air Purifier or HEPA Air Cleaner to fit the direct need! You should always get your information by doing your diligent research before making a purchase! Or you can contact the owner of absolute environmental in Florida for the best quality information. Ask for Barry and call him at 1-561-629-5618
Edmond Vandergraff May 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM
Bad air quality makes such a big difference in your health. In the city there is so many particles in the air that I had to stop wearing my contacts for a few days. My wife has asthma, and the pollution makes it so hard for her to breath, and is even dangerous at times. Edmond Vandergraff | http://www.airqualityanalysts.com

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