AUGUSTA (AP) – State environmental officials have issued an air quality alert for Thursday for the midcoast region between Port Clyde and Mount Desert.

The Department of Environmental Protection says ground-level ozone concentrations in the midcoast are expected to reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory illnesses.

The agency advises individuals to avoid strenuous activity during midday, close windows and circulate indoor air with a fan or air conditioner, and avoid using aerosol products that can irritate lungs.

The DEP says the federal ozone standard has become more stringent. If this summer is like most, the agency says it will probably be issuing more frequent alerts because of the recent revision.

AP-ES-06-26-08 0730EDT

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