August 31, 2008

Another air quality warning issued here

We've lost count...

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Watch for Ozone for Door, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, and Sheboygan Counties effective 12:01 am on Monday, Sept. 1, through 11:59 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The watch is being issued because of the forecast for elevated levels of ground level ozone, formed when pollution from power plants, factories, vehicle exhaust etc. etc. chemically reacts with hot temperatures, high humidity and atmospheric stagnation.

The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach the orange level, unhealthy for people in sensitive groups and others engaged in strenuous outside activities or exposed for prolonged periods of time. People in those sensitive groups include those with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, older adults, and active adults and ch ildren. When an air quality watch is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous outside activities during the watch period.

People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis should pay attention to shortness of breath, or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms. Ground level ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and chronic lung diseases, and, over time, cause permanent lung damage.

In other words, the DNR is telling you to enjoy Labor Day by staying inside. Or, if you must go outside, try not to breathe.

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