COLUMBUS — The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is issuing an Air Quality Alert for today.
The region — Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Madison and Licking counties — is likely to experience ground-level ozone pollution levels that are Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on the national Air Quality Index scale. Today’s AQI is forecast to be 104.
Today marks the first Air Quality Alert of the year. Sunny skies, warm temperatures and light winds will lead to ground-level ozone levels that are unhealthy for certain sensitive groups of people, including people with heart disease, respiratory disease (such as asthma), active children, active adults, and seniors. Ground-level ozone pollution is a colorless, odorless gas produced when emissions from our cars, lawn equipment and industry react together in the presence of sunlight.
MORPC uses the national AQI scale to inform the public about daily ozone and particle pollution levels in central Ohio. The AQI scale runs from 0 to 300 — the higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern. When levels reach above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. MORPC issues an Air Quality Alert to the public when pollution levels reach 101 or higher.
People with asthma are more likely to suffer an increase in the number and severity of symptoms during an Air Quality Alert. To decrease the potential for health implications, sensitive groups of people are urged to limit prolonged outdoor exertion. People who are experiencing breathing difficulties should consult with their doctor. More information on the health effects of ozone pollution is available at: www.franklincountyohio.gov/health/airpollution.htm and www.publichealth.columbus.gov.
You can sign-up online to receive Air Quality Alert notifications delivered straight to your inbox. Visit http://airquality.morpc.org and click on the EnviroFlash logo to start receiving these free notifications.