HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – New England experienced fewer days with poor air quality last summer than in previous years, according to environmental officials.

Fewer hot, sunny days and reduced air pollution helped reduce ozone smog, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

Other measures, such as tougher auto emissions standards and revised standards for diesel engines used in construction, agricultural and industrial equipment, also helped, the agency said.

“When we look back to the air quality conditions a generation ago, we can feel proud of the advances we’ve made in reducing pollution,” said Robert Varney, regional EPA administrator.

In Connecticut, the number of poor air quality days was six, down from 14 in 2003. Massachusetts had eight poor air quality days, compared to 11 the year before.

Rhode Island had four bad air days, compared to 10 in 2003. Maine had one day, compared with five the year before.

New Hampshire and Vermont saw increases. New Hampshire had four poor air quality days, compared to one the year before.

And in Vermont, there was one day, compared with none in 2003.

Exposure to elevated ozone levels can cause serious breathing problems and aggravate asthma and other lung diseases.

It can also make those with vulnerable immune systems more likely to contract respiratory infections.


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