Goshen News, Goshen, IN

June 11, 2013

High ozone today in Elkhart County, IDEM says


— The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is forecasting high ozone levels today in Elkhart County.

IDEM encourages the public to help reduce ozone by making changes to their daily habits. Tips include:

• Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation.

• Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip.

• Avoid using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.

• Turn off engines when idling for more than 30 seconds.

• Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above.

Anyone sensitive to poor air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high, according to IDEM. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties.