Officials issue warning on unhealthy air quality

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High levels of ozone generate orange alert for Tuesday

Tuesday's landscape is expected to be marred by unhealthy air; officials say high ozone levels have created an orange alert.

Tuesday’s landscape is expected to be marred by unhealthy air; officials say high ozone levels have created an orange alert, which represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people.

The state Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an orange air quality action day for ozone on Tuesday for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, a news release said.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities, the release said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality. Green signifies good; yellow means moderate; orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people; and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all. Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from vehicles, industry, households and power plants “bakes” in the hot sun, making it hard for some people to breathe, the release said.

To help keep the air healthy, officials recommend that residents and businesses voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by:

  • Limiting air conditioning to reduce power usage;
  • Keeping lights off inside the house during the day; and
  • Planning errands in one trip to reduce pollution from vehicles.

These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley, the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, the Lehigh Valley/Berks Air Quality Partnership and the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership. For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Air Quality Partnership.

 

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