EPA issues air quality warning

PROVIDENCE, RI – Unhealthy air quality is predicted today for all of Rhode Island, and much of Southern New England, including the Cape and Islands.

It's due to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone. And it's causing the state to encourage mass transportation.

The poor air quality alert has prompted RIPTA to offer free bus rides today as exposure to high levels of ground-level ozone can cause serious breathing problems.

Ground-level ozone is more commonly known and referred to as smog. The EPA says it forms when volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen interact in the presence of sunlight.

They're encouraging people in the Ocean State to avoid strenuous outdoor activity, to limit car travel, and leave the lawn mowing for another day. The health warning is particularly important to people with asthma, chronic bronchitis, or any pre-existing lung disease that can be aggravated by smog.

The poor air quality is likely to extend through Thursday.

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