MAHONING VALLEY Warm weather brings warning about ozone
Avoid refueling and lawn mowing and drive less on hot, sunny days to reduce air pollution, the council says.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Eastgate Regional Council of Governments declared Thursday to be this year's first Ozone Action Day because it featured the high temperatures, clear skies and light winds that contribute to ground-level ozone.
Ozone gas is a lung irritant that can worsen pre-existing conditions or cause shortness of breath during outdoor activities.
It is a special concern to people with respiratory ailments, children, the elderly and those working or exercising extensively outdoors.
Tips: On days with weather conditions such as Thursday, the council asks the public to take these steps to reduce emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide, which react with each other in the presence of heat and sunlight to produce ground-level ozone:
U & raquo;Avoid refueling vehicles or equipment. If necessary, do it after 7 p.m. Avoid dripping or spilling gasoline and don't top off the tank. Make sure gas caps are tightly sealed.
U & raquo;Avoid using gasoline-powered lawnmowers because their engines are generally inefficient and can be a major source of pollution.
U & raquo;Reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips. Walk or bicycle rather than drive to local stores. Use buses or carpools to travel.
U & raquo;Limit the use of solvents, such as charcoal lighter fluid, dry-cleaning fluids and oil-based paints. Generally speaking, if a match would ignite it, a liquid will contribute to ozone formation as it evaporates.
U & raquo;Reduce air conditioning and turn off fans and lights when not home or in the room to reduce demand on, and emissions from, electric power plants.