Tis the Season…for Bad Air Quality

31 May

Today is an “Air Quality Action Day,” with a “Code Orange” alert. A Code Orange air quality alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups of people. They include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases, and the elderly.

Unfortunately, these air quality action days are a common occurrence in New Jersey during this time of year, and you’ll no doubt be hearing about this a lot on the news.

There are some things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during these air quality alert days, including avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors, especially during mid-day.

Did you know that driving your car is the single largest contributor to ozone air pollution? To do your part to help improve air quality, you can:

  • Instead of driving, carpool, or take public transportation (use NJ Transit OzonePass, valid for travel on Air Quality Action Days — call NJ TRANSIT at 973.491.7600 for more info).
  • Telecommute, walk or ride your bike as much as possible.
  • If you must drive, avoid excessive idling or jack-rabbit starts, and try to consolidate errands.
  • Keep your car tuned up. The emissions from one un-tuned car equal those from 25 properly maintained cars.
  • Take your lunch. Or walk to a nearby restaurant – this reduces the number of vehicles on the road during the daylight hours.
  • Don’t refuel your car, or only do so after 7 pm.
  • Avoid using outboard motors, off-road vehicles, or other gasoline powered recreational vehicles.
  • Wait to mow your lawn until late evening or the next day and avoid using gas powered garden equipment.
  • Conserve energy to reduce energy needs. Set your air conditioner to a higher temperature.
  • Check the Air Quality forecast to see if tomorrow is going to be an Air Quality Action Day.

For more information about the Air Quality Index (AQI) or ‘Code ORANGE’ see: http://www.gmtma.org/system/assets/65/original/KNOW_YOUR_AQI.pdf?1305634466

 

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