Local air quality reaches unhealthy levels, limit exposure | TheUnion.com

Local air quality reaches unhealthy levels, limit exposure

Ozone levels over the weekend jumped up into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range.

It is expected that conditions for ozone formation will probably worsen today and ozone levels may remain high for the next few days.

The Air District forecasts that western Nevada County will see ozone values in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range at some point on each day through Thursday.

Most likely residents will see the highest ozone values in the late evening hours. However, there could be enough carry-over of ozone from the previous night that even during the early afternoon residents might see elevated levels. This should be taken into account when planning outdoor exercise in the next few days. Additionally, there is a chance of smoke from nearby wildfires moving into the area..

Unless new wildfires ignite nearby, the smoke levels should not climb into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. It should be noted that high ozone values frequently accompany elevated smoke levels on hot summer days, so take extra caution to limit exposure on those days.

Sensitive groups (those most at risk from exposure to ground level ozone) are the elderly, children, asthmatics, adults with pre-existing heart and lung disease, pregnant women and people who are exercising outdoors.

Exposure to unhealthful ozone concentrations can result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, congestion, coughing, impaired lung function and chest pain.

Sensitive individuals are advised to avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion especially during the late afternoon and evening.

To minimize air pollution on high ozone days, limit your use of internal combustion engines, especially those burning gasoline.

For current ozone conditions, go to http://www.spare theair.com, http://www.myair district.com or http://www.stain nc.org/.

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