That will "reduce the air pollution and at least delay those days that we'd exceed the (federal health) standard," Bird said. "But we wouldn't trigger people maybe inappropriately taking health precautions when it is not necessary."
But Moench said the change is confusing and misleading.
"Just a very small amount (of pollution) will hurt everyone," he said, "not just sensitive groups."
Moench said he believes the new system will send an inappropriate signal that people of ordinary health shouldn't worry about moderate pollution levels.
"The medical science is rock solid and has been over the last several years that air pollution actually harms everyone's health, no matter how healthy they are," he said.
State officials insist the revised system — and 23 new regulations — will help everyone's health. Residents will be informed that they need to cut back on driving and burning at an earlier stage of an inversion, before the pollution gets too thick.
If health warnings are set at too low a threshold, healthy people may be inappropriately discouraged from activity, Bird said.
"There are certainly benefits to exercise," he said. "There are benefits to getting out and doing things actively."
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