DEC Contact: Lori Severino (518) 402-8000
May 20, 2022
AIR QUALITY HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED FOR LONG ISLAND AND NEW YORK CITY METRO
In Effect for Saturday, May 21, 2022
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the Long Island and New York City Metro regions for Saturday, May 21, 2022.
The pollutant of concern is: Ozone
The advisory will be in effect 11 a.m. through 11 p.m.
DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern.
Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground-level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.
People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.
Ozone levels generally decrease at night and can be minimized during daylight hours by curtailment of automobile travel and the use of public transportation where available.
New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:
Additional information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC's website and on DOH's website.