SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This week, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection announced that during the 2020 ozone monitoring season the state experienced the fewest number of unhealthy air days since ozone monitoring began in the 1970s.

There were just three days that occurred in late July that just affected the eastern part of the state. In western Massachusetts, we experienced no unhealthy air days during the ozone monitoring season which runs from March through September.

“No, and I have COPD so I’m not affected by that and I’m actually happy about that,” said Cathy Clements of Chicopee.

Ozone is produced when heat and sunlight react with air pollutants. When ground-level ozone reaches unhealthy levels, children and people with respiratory diseases are highest at risk for experiencing difficulty breathing.

“I have fibrosis of the lungs and that’s really not good and especially with all people with lung problems,” said Ann Ejsmont of Chicopee.

Over the years the state has taken measures to reduce emissions. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic this year also likely played a role with fewer people driving due to restrictions and many businesses that were forced to close.

For more information on air quality monitoring across the state, click here.