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New Year’s celebrated with slightly better air

February 2, 2012
The Maui Weekly

The Maui News - Kihei's air-monitoring system measured a very incremental improvement in air quality this New Year's Eve. The announcement was released by the state Department of Health.

According to national standards, allowable particulate levels are 35 micrograms per cubic meter. Kihei reported six micrograms this past New Year's, down from seven micrograms the previous year.

The reduction in particulate was noted as "really small" by Lisa Young, an environmental health specialist. She also said the air quality in Kihei has fared better than similar stations on O'ahu, which is known for more instances of poor air quality.

However, O'ahu enjoyed significantly lower levels of air pollution this year. The cleaner air has been attributed to reduced fireworks use, coinciding with their ban this year.

Health officials routinely measure air quality during New Year's celebrations due to fireworks use, which release a high amount of particulate matter. This particulate can penetrate the lungs, potentially worsening respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.



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