Fairfield County was one of multiple counties in Connecticut issued an unhealthy air quality warning over the last few weeks by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
The warning, labeled Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG), specifies: "Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected," according to the CT DEEP's air quality index. These warnings are based on detection of elevated concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution and were issued on June 19, June 21, June 29 and July 6.
Along with checking the weather for the next day, residents can go online to check the air quality the next day as well; however, as an alternative, the American Lung Association has released a free app that gives smartphone users immediate notifications from their area.
The Lung Association has created the State of the Air application for iPhones or Androids. It's considered "a life-saving resource for people living with lung disease like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), people with heart disease or diabetes, as well as older adults and children," according to their website.
With State of the Air, users can enter their zip code or use the geo-locator function on their smartphones to get current and next-day air quality conditions.
The app provides levels of both ozone and particle pollution, and sends out alerts if our air quality is unhealthy. If the day’s air pollution is particularly severe, the app will provide specific recommendations – advising that outdoor activities should be rescheduled or that people who work outdoors should limit extended or heavy exertion.
You can get the American Lung Association app as a free download in the Apple and Android markets, or at this site.
Also, the Lung Association has created a public service advertising (PSA) campaign to encourage people to download the new air quality app. You can see one of the videos on the YouTube attached to this article.