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MassDEP Issues Lower Air Quality Warning
10:33AM / Tuesday, July 27, 2021
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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued a yellow-level air quality warning for Berkshire County until at least 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 27.
According to a press release: Due to a significant smoke plume from western United States and Canadian wildfires moving over the New England region, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is issuing an air quality alert effective immediately until at least 12:00 PM today, July 27, 2021 for all Massachusetts counties, as the air is expected to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. 
While much of the smoke is aloft, some of the plume is mixing down to the surface and increasing fine particle levels. Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease such as asthma, older adults, children, teenagers, and people who are active outdoors. People with either lung disease or heart disease are at greater risk from exposure to particle pollution.
MassDEP is advising that people in sensitive groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion; take more breaks and do less intense activities and follow asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.
A yellow alert, or moderate, represents acceptable air quality. However, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
A red level, or unhealthy, warning was issued Monday. According to MassDEP a red alerts means everyone may begin to experience health effects. People in sensitive groups should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion and consider moving indoors or rescheduling. Those with asthma should keep quick relief medicine handy. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion and take more breaks and do less intense activities.
More details are available, including forecasts and real-time data, at MassDEP’s MassAir Online site here.
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