Air Pollution Action Day Alerts for July 4th and 5th
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Ozone levels are elevated and higher particulate levels may occur near fireworks displays
CHICAGO, IL – As a result of continued high temperatures and elevated pollution levels, the Illinois Partners for Clean Air and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency are issuing Air Pollution Action Day alerts for individuals in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Regional air quality is expected to reach the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category on the national Air Quality Index. Ground-level ozone has been elevated in the area and is expected to be elevated for Wednesday, July 4 and Thursday, July 5. These will be the fourth and fifth Action Days issued for 2012. Additional Action Day alerts may be issued.
Air Pollution Action Day alerts are issued when widespread ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels are expected to be at or above the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category for multiple days. Ozone is at increased levels, posing a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, especially individuals with respiratory or pulmonary disorders as well as active children and adults. Additionally, higher particulate levels can occur near fireworks displays. It is recommended that sensitive individuals take special precautions and follow their physician prescribed regimen. All residents should keep cool and limit physical activity when air pollution levels are high.
The goal of Air Pollution Action Day alerts is two-fold: 1) to alert individuals who may be affected by elevated air pollution; and 2) to encourage business and residents in the region to take steps to reduce contributions to air pollution (suggested tips included below).
- Take public transit, Rideshare, walk or bike.
- If driving, avoid idling, consolidate errands and run them after 7 p.m. when sunlight is not as strong.
- Reduce energy demands:
- Use energy efficient light bulbs.
- Set your thermostat up at least 2 degrees or use a programmable thermostat.
- Turn off and unplug electronics not in use.
- Use environmentally friendly household and cleaning products.
- Use a charcoal chimney or gas grill instead of lighter fluid when grilling.
- Avoid using gasoline-powered equipment on Air Pollution Action Days.
- Do not burn leaves and other yard waste.
- Notify colleagues, friends and family to help protect their health and encourage actions.
- Sign-up to receive your air quality forecast via email at www.cleantheair.org.
The Illinois Partners for Clean Air coalition consists of businesses, government and health advocate groups committed to improving the region’s air quality through voluntary actions. More information can be found at www.cleantheair.org.