Saving the environment seems like a daunting task. But, there are little changes you can make in your everyday routine to improve the metro's air quality.
On warm days especially, our air quality is compromised by groundlevel ozone emissions. Higher ozone levels occur when common airborne pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), react with sunlight and heat. These pollutants are generated most by vehicle exhaust and petroleum evaporative loss.
Groundlevel ozone is different than the ozone in the upper atmosphere that protects us from the sun's ultraviolet rays. This groundlevel ozone compromises air quality because it makes the air we breathe unhealthy. It can cause people to experience difficulty breathing, coughing, and stinging eyes, and is especially unhealthy for the elderly, children, and people with heart and lung conditions.
Try implementing a few of the following practices in your daily routine to improve the air we breathe:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Federal Air Quality Index (AQI) that indicates when ozone concentration levels have reached unhealthy highs. These levels are carefully monitored by MAPA and its partners at the Douglas County Health Department. If you would like to receive warnings issued by MAPA and the Douglas County Health Department when ozone levels are particularly high, follow us on Twitter, @mapacog.