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Saturday is an Air Quality Alert Day in central Indiana: What you need to know

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Posted at 1:43 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 13:45:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has declared Saturday an "Air Quality Action Day" because of forecasted high ozone levels that could make it difficult for some Hoosiers to breathe.

Anyone sensitive to changes in the air quality should avoid spending too much time working outside.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Anyone with heart conditions
  • Anyone with lung conditions

According to the IDEM, ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties.

IMPD Homeland Security recommends the following precautions for extreme heat:

  • Drink more water than usual
  • Avoid alcohol and drinks with high amounts of sugar
  • Limit extraneous activity or exercise
  • Stay inside in A/C as much as possible
  • Get cool at libraries, shopping centers, and community centers

Simple changes to your daily habit can help reduce ozone including:

  • Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation
  • Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above

For more information on what a Knozone Action Day is, click here.

You can also get daily air quality forecasts here.

The following areas are impacted by the declaration:

  • Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Morgan and Shelby
  • Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte
  • Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Washington
  • Southwest Indiana – Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick
  • West Central Indiana – Vigo