Several Indiana counties under Air Quality Action Day status

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Posted at 1:27 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 08:50:15-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Several counties in Indiana will be under an Air Quality Action Day on Tuesday due to the high ozone levels in the forecast.

The heat index in some areas on Tuesday could be as high as 105 degrees.

According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the following counties will be under the action day status:

  • Marion
  • Bartholomew
  • Boone
  • Brown
  • Delaware
  • Hamilton
  • Hendricks
  • Howard
  • Madison
  • Shelby 
  • St. Joseph
  • Elkhart
  • Allen
  • Huntington
  • Wabash
  • Lake
  • Porter
  • LaPorte
  • Clark
  • Floyd
  • Daviess
  • Dubois
  • Gibson
  • Greene
  • Knox
  • Perry
  • Pike
  • Posey
  • Spencer
  • Vanderburgh
  • Warrick
  • Vigo
  • Carroll
  • Tippecanoe

On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability declared a Knozone Action Day. It's the first one of 2022.

The Office of Public Health and Safety offered the following tips:

  • Stay hydrated. Keep in mind that drinking alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration.
  • Check on relatives and neighbors, especially the elderly and those without access to air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
  • When outside, wear light, loose-fitting clothing and take frequent breaks in the shade or an air-conditioned room.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Seek medical attention if symptoms occur.
  • Look before you lock! Pay special attention when locking up vehicles to ensure no children or pets are left inside. Temperatures inside a car can become lethal in a matter of minutes.
  • Bring pets indoors and ensure they have plenty of water to drink.
  • Carry an umbrella for immediate shade while out enjoying festivities.

IDEM said children, people who are elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid heavy work outdoors on Tuesday.

"Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors," a press release from IDEM read. "Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations."

In a press release, IDEM recommends follow these tips to help reduce the ozone levels:

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible
  • Combine errands into one trip
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above