The Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for today in two areas of the state.
Southeast Indiana includes Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Scott and Washington counties.
Southwest Indiana includes Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.
IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making simple changes to their daily habits.
People can walk, bike or work from home when possible; combine errands into one trip; avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.; turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds; and conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above.
Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn about ozone or sign up for air quality forecasts, visit smogwatch.in.gov.
Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with 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.