An air quality health advisory issued by the state remains in effect through midnight on Jan. 1.

The advisory means that the air in the metropolitan area and on Long Island has a higher-than-usual concentration of soot - leading to eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny noses and shortness of breath, and it can exacerbate asthma and heart disease, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation wrote in a news release.

People who are sensitive to the soot should minimize their exposure to outdoor sources of pollution and avoid strenuous activities, the agency said.

With Matthew Chayes

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