The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued an Air Quality Action Day for Monday.
The Air Quality Action Day set for Monday, August 21st, is due to high temperatures near or over 90 degrees and light winds, which are suitable conditions for ozone to build to a level that is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The areas in southwest Indiana forecasting high ozone levels include Bedford, Bloomfield, Evansville, Huntingburg, Mount Vernon, Paoli, Princeton, Rockport, Tell City, Vincennes, and all other cities within the area.
IDEM is suggesting everyone help improve air quality by making changes to daily habits including:
- Drive less and use options like carpooling, public transportation, walking, biking, or working from home when possible
- Combine errands into one trip
- Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 PM
- Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle; for example, at a bank or restaurant drive-thru
- And conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above
Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. While ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations.
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 are advised to reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
To learn more about ozone, view current and forecasted conditions, or sign up for air quality alerts, visit SmogWatch.IN.gov.
IDEM also wants to remind Hoosiers that some municipalities have additional open burning restrictions on Air Quality Action Days. For more information, visit in.gov/idem/openburning/.