Last Friday (6/28) was the first “Air Quality Action Day” of the summer due to excessive Ozone. Ground-level ozone is a respiratory irritant that can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Children, people with pre-existing respiratory or heart conditions, people doing strenuous outdoor work or exercise and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone.
Sunshine can cause some pollutants to undergo chemical reactions, creating smog. Higher air temperatures can also speed up chemical reactions in the air. Therefore, as the summer progresses, we can expect additional air quality action days.
Here are several simple steps to take to prevent air pollution:
Combine errands into a single trip and postpone unnecessary trips.
When possible, use mass transit
Avoid letting your vehicle idle
Postpone operating gas-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and wait for when air quality is better.
Finally, motorists should remember that Westchester County has enacted an Anti-Idling Law to prohibit the idling of vehicles for more than three consecutive minutes. Every minute of idling wastes fuel and affects the air quality of our area. Local police are empowered to enforce this law.
I encourage residents to remain informed about local air quality by subscribing to alerts from www.dec.ny.gov, protecting themselves by taking appropriate precautions (e.g. limiting outdoor work on air quality action days) and taking steps to reduce air pollution.