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N95 and KN95 masks offer the best protections against air pollution.

High ozone level warnings today for people with breathing difficulties

Contributed By: The 411 News

IDEM issues Air Quality Action Day for Friday, April 14

Indianapolis – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for Friday, April 14, 2023, in the following regions:
Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte
North Central Indiana – St. Joseph, Elkhart
Northeast Indiana – Allen, Huntington, Wabash

The counties referenced in the region(s) above are equipped with ozone air quality monitors. However, all counties within an AQAD region should heed the forecast. Air quality information for all Indiana counties can be found at SmogWatch.IN.gov.

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making changes to daily habits. You can:
Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible
Combine errands into one trip
Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above

Air Quality Action Days are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Friday. People sensitive to changes in air quality, like those with asthma, may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations.

Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, hot and dry air, stagnant conditions, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground.

To learn more about ozone or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov.

Although IDEM does not specify wearing masks as a preventive measure, masks are effective at filtering out small particles of dust and vapors that can irritate the lungs of people with breathing difficulties. N95 and KN95 masks offer the best protections against air pollution.

Story Posted:04/14/2023

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