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The original item was published from 7/22/2011 9:56:00 AM to 7/23/2011 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: July 21, 2011

[ARCHIVED] VA DEQ Issues Code Orange Air Quality Forecast for July 22, 2011

As of 2:00 pm, Thursday, July 20th, the estimated Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Roanoke area based upon the current ground-level ozone concentrations is in the Code Orange range (http://www.deq.virginia.gov/airquality/). Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should limit strenuous outdoor activities through this evening.

What can you do?

Spread the word and forward this notice to others whose health may be susceptible to high ozone levels. Improve air quality and reduce traffic by registering with www.ridesolutions.org and sign up for our free carpool matching service, and encourage neighbors and coworkers to do the same. Implement the following ten air quality strategies:

Ten Simple Steps to Improving Air Quality

1. Take mass transit, share a ride, or car pool.
2. Combine trips.3. Ride your bike.
4. Walk wherever you can.5. Care for your car and don't idle.
6. Get fuel when it's cool.7. Don't top off the tank.
8. Telecommute.9. Research routes and traffic before you go.
10. Spread the word to others!

What is an Ozone Action Day?

An Ozone Action Day may be called by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality when ozone levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels. These programs, often in partnership with local businesses, encourage voluntary actions to reduce emissions of pollutants that contribute to ground-level ozone formation.

Who is sensitive to ozone?

Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing lung problems, such as asthma, are sensitive to the health effects of ozone. Even healthy adults involved in moderate or strenuous outdoor activities can experience the unhealthy effects of ozone.

How does ozone affect human health?

Ozone is a major element of urban smog. Ozone can limit the ability to take a deep breath, and it can cause coughing, throat irritation, and breathing discomfort. There is also evidence that ozone can lower resistance to respiratory disease, such as pneumonia; damage lung tissue, and aggravate chronic lung disease, such as asthma or bronchitis.

More info at VA DEQ
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