April 1st to October 31st
Major sources that contribute a high percentage to ground-level ozone are motor vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, and chemical solvents.
Ground-level ozone aggravates your respiratory system, decreases lung function, and may cause permanent lung damage. Children, those with asthma or existing respiratory problems, and adults of all ages who actively work or exercise outdoors are at risk for high ozone health effects.
Ground-level ozone interferes with the ability of plants to produce and store food-endangering growth, reproduction, and overall plant health. By weakening sensitive vegetation, ozone makes plants more susceptible to disease, pests, and environmental stresses. During this time, leaves of the plants fall off too early or become spotted and/or brown.
We can reduce pollution with a few simple steps:
- Limit driving.
- Stop at the click and don't overfill your gas tank.
- Turn your gas cap until it clicks.
- Avoid using gas-powered yard equipment on high ozone days. Wait until the cooler hours of the day.
- Use an electric starter for your barbecue.
- Use low-VOC water-based paints and stains.
- Avoid idling your vehicle for more than 30 seconds.
- Tightly seal the lids on chemical products to avoid evaporation.
- Keep your vehicle properly tuned and maintained.
One of the most important steps to take is to tell friends, family, and coworkers what you are doing and why. Education and small changes to your habits and activities will do wonders for keeping the air cleaner.