GENEVA – An Air Pollution Action Day Alert has been issued for the Chicago metropolitan area today, the first Action Day Alert issued this year, Kane County Health Department officials said.
Illinois Partners for Clean Air and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency issued the alert as air pollution levels are expected to reach the "orange” or – “unhealthy for sensitive groups” – category on the national Air Quality Index.
Air quality monitoring and modeling indicates ozone or fine particulate matter levels will be elevated, posing a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, especially individuals with respiratory disorders – including asthma – as well as active children and older adults, according to the alert.
Sensitive individuals should take special precautions and follow their doctors' advice.
Businesses and residents in the region are asked to take actions to reduce contributions to air pollution, such as take public transportation, walk or bike and – if driving – avoid idling, consolidate errands and run them after 7 p.m. when sunlight is not as strong.
Area residents and businesses also are asked to reduce their energy demands by setting thermostats up at least 2 degrees, turning off or unplugging electronics not in use and setting the water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or less.
Area residents can sign up to receive air quality forecasts via email at http://illinois.enviroflash.info/signup.cfm. More information, including a history of Air Pollution Action Days, can be found at www.cleantheair.org.