SW Indiana on alert for high ozone levels

From Local Sources

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for today for Southwest Indiana.

Counties under alert include: Dubois, Daviess, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick.

The Air Quality Action Day also includes North Central Indiana, St. Joseph and Elkhart counties; Northwest Indiana, Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties; and Southeast Indiana, Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Washington counties.

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone while remaining safe during the COVID-19 crisis by making simple changes to their daily habits, such as walking, biking, carpooling or using public transportation. The agency also encourages people to avoid using the drive-thru and combine errands into one trip, avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m., turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds, and conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above.

Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality 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.

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake 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.

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