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Monday, June 4, 2012

Hot temperatures here = bad air quality

 (Utah Division of Air Quality)

I just received an alert on Facebook from my local health department. The alert states that today is a "Yellow Air Quality Day" here in our county. My county is a unique geographical area, I live in the bottom of a "bowl" or valley that is surrounded by mountains. That means the air gets trapped in the valley and builds up ozone levels.

This can make asthma and other lung conditions worse. It also affects people with heart conditions. High ozone levels can cause red eyes, nose and throat irritation, coughing and wheezing.

The Utah Division of Air Quality website helps you learn when to limit your outdoor activity. It also encourages people to use mass transit, or reduce traveling time in your car.

Click here for a link to the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) website. If the link doesn't work, the web address is http://www.airquality.utah.gov/  It has some easy-to-understand tutorials about air quality and how they can affect your body. In the summer, the site measures ozone levels. In the winter, it measures PM 2.5 levels (smaller particles that can irritate your lungs)

This is from the DAQ website and shows what you need to do on green, yellow and red dates:



Legend


Action / Alert Status
Health Protection Message
  Green
Good - None
Moderate - Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups - The following groups should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults
  • People who are active outdoors
Unhealthy - The following groups should avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults
  • People who are active outdoors
Everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Very Unhealthy - The following groups should avoid all outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults
  • People who are active outdoors
Everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.

  Yellow
Reduce driving use mass transit.

  Red
Limit driving use mass transit or carpool.

Get more information by visiting our Choose Clean Air site.

Sign up for free e-mail air quality alerts.

Check your area for air quality, and if you have high ozone levels, limit your activities.

And keep breathing!

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