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Ozone season underway — community urged to take action to improve air quality

Wednesday, July 16, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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For Immediate Release
July 16, 2014



PROGRAM COORDINATOR                                                   PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

Joe Fedewa                                                                                                                               Laurie Robison

                                                                                                                                       Director of Marketing



                                                                                                                                                   for media only


Ozone season underway — community urged to take action to improve air quality


While the month of May was marked by fairly cool daytime and evening temperatures, June’s higher temperatures, combined with increased pollution and ground-level ozone concentrations may result in unhealthy air quality and adversely affect people living and working in the Greater Lansing area.

“The elderly, chronically ill, children, and adults who are active outdoors are especially at risk,” explained Joe Fedewa, CATA’s Clean Commute Options Coordinator. “Even individuals who have never experienced any health concerns may be affected.”

Ozone action season runs from May 1 to Sept. 31 each year. CATA Clean Commute Options is once again prepared to issue ozone action warnings.

“We urge local media to help us deliver important public health announcements about risks associated with increased ground-level ozone,” Fedewa added.

When ground-level ozone concentrations reach unhealthy levels — categorized by an orange alert or higher — Clean Commute Options personnel will ask local media to inform the public of the possibility of an “Ozone Action Day.”

Ideally, alerts should be broadcast during weather and local news reports, as well as morning talk shows. Postings on media websites and social media sites are also highly encouraged. Upon receipt of our alerts, we ask that the recommended announcement (below) be communicated broadly so that everyone can work together to reduce ozone levels, improve air quality and community health, and minimize risks associated with high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

Recommended Announcement

Today’s/tomorrow’s air-quality index is expected to reach ___________ in Greater Lansing, causing pollution emissions to result in unhealthy ground-level ozone concentrations and poor air quality. Individuals with asthma or lung problems, as well as children, the elderly and chronically ill, and adults who are active outdoors should avoid heavy outdoor exertion and seek air-conditioned shelters.  

In addition, residents are asked to take the following actions:

  • Carpool, vanpool, bike, walk or ride the bus to avoid single-occupancy vehicle usage and increased carbon emissions
  • Fuel your vehicle after 5 p.m. or when temperature drops — emissions are less likely to produce ozone
  • Avoid topping off your gas tank — putting more fuel in your gas tank is bad for the environment. A few drops of gasoline produce the same amount of emissions as driving 50 miles! Avoid spilling fuel, and always tighten your gas cap securely
  • Reduce vehicle idling and combine your trips
  • Telecommute or work a compressed schedule when possible
  • Mow your lawn in the early evening or when temperature cools
  • Individuals with asthma or lung problems should avoid heavy exertion outdoors 

Alert levels range between orange and purple, with purple being the most harmful (see chart below).

Air Quality Index
(AQI) Values


Levels of Health Concern



Color Code

When the air-quality index
ranges between:


...air quality conditions are:




0 and 50

Good (green)

Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk

51 and 100

Moderate (yellow)

Air quality is acceptable, however, it may affect a very small number of people who tend to be sensitive to air pollutants

101 and 150

Unhealthy for
Sensitive Groups (orange)

Members of sensitive groups (children, the elderly and chronically ill, individuals with asthma or other lung problems, and active adults) may experience adverse health effects

151 and 200

Unhealthy (red)

Everyone is at risk for adverse health effects, with members of sensitive groups experiencing more serious adverse health effects

201 and 300

Very Unhealthy (purple)

Health alert: Everyone may experience serious adverse health effects.

Ozone can:

         Make it difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously

         Cause shortness of breath and pain when taking a deep breath

         Cause increased coughing, and sore or scratchy throat

         Inflame and damage the lung lining

         Make the lungs more susceptible to infection

         Aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis

         Increase the frequency of asthma attacks


For additional information or help finding commute matches, contact CATA Clean Commute Options at 517.393.RIDE, or email


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