Air Quality Alert
- Precautions to Take During an Air Quality Alert
- What to Do During an Air Quality Alert
- Air Quality Alert Procedures & Background
- Information for Governments, Organizations & Businesses
Precautions to Take During an Air Quality Alert
Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion. Everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.
What to Do During an Air Quality Alert
- Take the bus, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving
- Refuel your vehicle after 8 pm, do not top off when refueling and tighten the gas cap
- Do not idle your vehicle
- Combine trips or eliminate unnecessary vehicle trips
- Keep your vehicle maintained with properly-inflated tires and timely oil changes
- Avoid use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment on Air Quality Alert days
- Avoid use of oil-based paints and stains on Air Quality Alert days
- Never burn leaves or other yard trimmings
- Always burn clean, seasoned wood in outdoor fire pits, fireplaces and wood stoves
- Avoid using fire pits or fireplaces for non-essential home heating on Air Quality Alert days
- Conserve electricity
For more details on the Air Quality Index and its corresponding health messages, refer to AirNow. You may also choose to sign up for EnviroFlash, a free service and app that notifies you of daily air quality conditions based upon your personal settings that you control.
Air Quality Alert Procedures & Background
The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency monitors and reports air quality data as a public service. In our region, ozone is the most likely trigger for elevated air pollution levels, especially during warmer months.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set the ozone standard at 70 parts per billion (ppb) which equals an Air Quality Index of 100, or moderate. If ozone rises to 71 ppb, that produces an AQI of 101, which is considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG).
Each day, staff members retrieve and review data and weather forecast information. If unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate matter are expected, the Agency may consult with the National Weather Service to determine if conditions are favorable to issue an Air Quality Alert. If the data indicates that ozone or particulate matter may reach or exceed an Air Quality Index of 101, an Air Quality Alert is issued.
In an effort to keep the public informed so they may make decisions about their outdoor activities, the Agency will notify the media and public via email, social media, and this website when the AQI is at the USG.
Air Quality Alerts may also be a problem in the winter, not just the summer, due to high PM levels. Wintertime open burning and warming up cars, combined with weather inversions, can make PM-based winter Air Quality Advisories a reality for Southwest Ohio residents.
Information for Governments, Organizations & Businesses
We all have a role to play in our region's air quality. Governments, organizations, and businesses are being asked to reduce emissions and conserve energy during an Air Quality Alert.
- Put an air quality business plan in place. This puts our individual actions together to make an impact on a larger scale. Organizations are encouraged to have a written plan in place stating actions they will take on an Air Quality Alert day.
- Share air quality information with your residents/employees/customers.