Air Quality Action Day issued for Thursday in several Michiana counties

An Air Quality Action Day has been issued for Thursday in several Michiana counties.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is forecasting high ozone levels in St. Joseph County, Elkhart County, LaPorte County and several others areas throughout the state.

From the Indiana Department of Environmental Management:

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for Thursday, June 27, 2019 in the following areas:

• North Central Indiana – St. Joseph, Elkhart
• Northeast Indiana – Allen, Huntington
• Northwest Indiana – Lake, Porter, LaPorte
• Southeast Indiana – Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Washington

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making simple changes to their daily habits. You can:
• 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

Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about ozone or sign up for air quality forecasts, visit www.SmogWatch.IN.gov.

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.