The Evansville Environmental Protection Agency and the Vanderburgh County Health Department have issued an OZONE ALERT for Wednesday July 4th and Thursday July 5th because ambient concentrations of ozone may reach or exceed the level of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range.
The current ozone NAAQS was set by the U.S. EPA in 2008 at an eight-hour average of 76 parts per billion (ppb). Per the Air Quality Index (AQI), eight-hour ozone levels between 76 to 95 ppb are considered to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups such as children and active adults, and people with respiratory diseases like asthma. http://www.epa.gov/airnow/ozone-c.pdf
Air Quality Index Ozone 8-hr average
Good (0-50) 0-59 ppb
Moderate (51 – 100) 60-75 ppb
? Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101 – 150) 76-95 ppb
Unhealthy (151 – 200) 96-115 ppb
Very Unhealthy (201 – 300) 116-374 ppb
HAZARDOUS (301 – 500) >375 ppb
Within a few hours or days, exposure to higher levels of ozone can cause lung and throat irritation, shortness of breath, increase the frequency of asthma attacks and aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. Children, active adults, and people with respiratory diseases should limit prolonged outdoor exertion especially between 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. when ozone levels are highest. Fine particulate levels may be temporarily elevated during and after permitted public fireworks displays.
When planning any outdoor activities, please take precautions, take it slow and stay hydrated. If you experience symptoms of heat or air pollution related illness, stop what you are doing and take appropriate health and safety measures. If you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pains, or an asthma attack, don’t ignore them and seek medical advice. The CDC has an excellent extreme heat prevention guide available here: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp and from the National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/index.shtml
BURN BANS ARE IN EFFECT FOR ALL SW INDIANA COUNTIES
Using gas and charcoal cooking grills is permitted.
Do your share to protect air quality and reduce pollution levels:
• Use public transit.
• Conserve energy of all kinds – turn off lights, reduce air conditioner use, etc.
• Limit your driving. Avoid unnecessary vehicle idling.
• Park and go inside instead of using drive-through windows, especially if there are long lines.
• Postpone fueling your vehicle until after 6:00 p.m. Don’t ‘top-off’ your tank when filling up.
• Consider using electric or manually operated lawn equipment. If you use gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment, stop working at 10:00 a.m. and / or postpone work until after 6:00 p.m.
• Limit the use of solvents, parts cleaning fluids, paint thinners and chemicals. Replace lids when finished.
• Postpone painting or use water-based paints instead of oil-based paints.