Updated 10:30am August 23rd: The OZONE ALERT has been extended and is now in effect for Thursday, August 23rd AND Friday, August 24th.
Original Post: The Evansville Environmental Protection Agency and the Vanderburgh County Health Department have issued an Ozone Alert for Thursday, August 23, 2012 because ambient concentrations of ozone may reach or exceed the level of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone and 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.
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.
No open burning is allowed during Ozone Alerts. The use of gas and charcoal grills is permitted, but we encourage postponing grilling until air quality improves.
Please remember the Burn Ban is still in effect.
To 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