The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NOAA’s National Weather Service are encouraging Americans to “Be Air Aware” this week as part of Air Quality Awareness Week. Concentrations of air pollution tend to increase on the tail end of high pressure systems, after the center of the high passes by. High pressure systems affect a number of weather conditions, which can lead to poor air quality.
People with heart and lung diseases or asthma, children and older adults can be especially at-risk for health problems related to air pollution. Extremely poor air quality can affect everyone. Stay healthy and reduce your exposure by watching air quality reports from your local media or checking www.airnow.gov. When conditions reach “Code Orange” or higher, consider rescheduling sports games and other strenuous outdoor activities for another day. If you do go outside, aim for early morning or evening hours, when air pollution levels are likely to be lower.
Test your knowledge about air quality: http://www.earthgauge.net/aqquiz
(Sources: US EPA. “What Affects My Air Quality?” http://www.epa.gov/airnow/airaware/day2-detail.html; www.airnow.gov)