According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in Maine Friday, July 22, and are expected to reach unhealthy levels. Unhealthy levels are expected along the coast from Kittery through Acadia Nat’ional Park. The Downeast Coast, as well as inland areas close to the coast, are expected to be in the moderate range. There is a possibility that unhealthy levels of ozone might continue into Saturday as well.

At elevated ozone levels, children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from a respiratory disease such as asthma, bronchitis or COPD can experience reduced lung function and aggravated lung irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

Some actions affected residents can take to protect their health during periods of unhealthy air quality include: adjusting their schedule to avoid strenuous outdoor activity during the afternoon.