It’s Ozone Action Season
TMACOG and the City of Toledo Division of Environmental Services operate Ozone Action Season from May through September. During Ozone Action Season, Toledo and TMACOG provide information about current air quality, promote awareness of the dangers of ozone, and provide advice on how people can protect their health.
Forecasts will be made by the City of Toledo twice each week, or more often during periods of unusual weather conditions. Forecasts will predict one of four levels of air quality conditions: Good; Satisfactory; Precautionary Measures Should be Taken by Sensitive Groups; and Caution. To receive the ozone forecast by e-mail, ask to be added to the Ozone Action Season list. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. TMACOG also posts the information here. Social media is being used to communicate to the public on days when ozone reaches the top two levels.
Everyone is affected by ozone. Especially sensitive groups include anyone with asthma or emphysema, and young children. But athletes or people working outdoors should also be aware of ozone levels and try to adjust their activity and exposure. Ground-level ozone can reduce lung function and make people cough. Frequent exposure to ozone can cause long-lasting lung damage.
Half of the hydrocarbons that lead to ozone come from the actions of individuals. This means that individuals can have a significant effect on reducing ozone through conscious efforts. Try to drive less; carpool instead or take the bus. Fill up the tank early in the morning or late in the evening. Put off mowing the lawn or operating any gas-powered motors until the weather cools. Reduce household energy use by moderating air conditioner settings, hang clothes out to dry rather than using the dryer, and turn off unnecessary appliances.
To learn more, go to www.ozoneaction.org. Information from a range of government agencies is linked to the webpage. Links include www.airnow.gov, a map of current air quality information for the U.S.