Ground-level ozone concentrations will be climbing in MaineĀ  Thursday, May 18, and are expected to reach unhealthy levels along the entire coastline and will reach inland to include the interior regions according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, moderate levels of particle pollution are expected in the same area on Thursday.

This is a multiday ozone event that has been building since last weekend beginning in the south and central part of the country. Earlier this week, elevated levels of ozone moved further north and east to locations around the Great Lakes, as well as the Mid-Atlantic States. On Wednesday, ozone exceedances are expected to expand into the metro corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston. Maine will be affected by this transport event on Thursday.

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 irritation. When this happens, individuals may notice a shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in their chest.

For more information call the DEP's toll-free air quality hotline at 800-223-1196 or go to its air quality website at