The Illinois Partners for Clean Air and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency have issued an Air Pollution Action Day Alert to individuals and businesses in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Air pollution levels are expected to reach the “Orange” or “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category on the national Air Quality Index on Tuesday, August 20th. This will be the 1st Action Day issued for 2013. Additional Action Day Alerts may be issued should conditions warrant.
Air quality monitoring and modeling indicates ozone levels will be elevated, posing a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, especially individuals with respiratory disorders, including asthma, as well as active children and older adults. Sensitive individuals should take special precautions and follow their physician prescribed regimen.
Businesses and residents in the region are asked to take actions 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.
- Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or lower.
- 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 http://illinois.enviroflash.info/signup.cfm
Air Pollution Action Day alerts are issued when data from air quality monitors, along with weather conditions, indicate the likely potential for widespread ozone or fine particulate matter levels at or above the Orange – “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” category on the Air Quality Index for multiple days.
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, including a history of Air Pollution Action Days, can be found at www.cleantheair.org.