Air Quality Action Day declared for Susquehanna Valley on Saturday, Jun 22

Forecast
Saturday, Jun 22: 110 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
75 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Sunday, Jun 23: 114 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
80 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley.

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley on Friday, Jun 21

 Forecast
Friday, Jun 21: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
70 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jun 22: 112 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
80 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Here are some Air Quality Action Day tips you can follow to help reduce pollution:

Days when ozone levels are expected to be high:

* Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
* Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
* Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
* Combine errands and reduce trips.
* Limit engine idling.
* Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley.

 

Clean Air Board Community Meeting, June 6

How to talk about clean air and health?  Join us for the next Clean Air Board community meeting, June 6, 7 pm.

The Clean Air Board meets at the Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013  For directions:  http://mapq.st/YfkRSe

 

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Thursday, May 30

Tomorrow’s Forecast
Thursday, May 30: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
70 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Friday, May 31: 100 AQI Moderate Ozone
75 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions as of 1 PM on Wednesday: Mostly sunny skies have developed this afternoon after dense fog blanketed most of the region early this morning. Temperatures are already into the 80s and we should see a number of 90 degree readings over the next several days. High pressure will provide the hot and humid conditions along with deteriorating air quality levels through at least Saturday. *** Thursday’s Forecast: Patchy fog possible again early Thursday, though not nearly as dense as Wednesday morning. This fog should be quicker to burn off Thursday morning than Wednesday as well, helping temperatures quickly climb back into the 80s by early afternoon. Highs for the day should push into the low 90s for a number of locations under mostly sunny skies. PM 2.5 levels will reach their highest values for the day once again during the morning, though these values will not be as high as early Wednesday, and will remain in the middle of the moderate range for the day. Light west/southwesterly flow with the ample sunshine will allow Ozone concentrations to climb well into the moderate range. Some locations are even likely to see concentrations peak just into the Code Orange range. Air quality conditions will continue to deteriorate into Friday.

PA DEP and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley

 

The Sentinel editorial, May 5, 2013

More than 40 people gathered around a large table in Carlisle Thursday night doing something very important: They talked.

They talked about the lasting, damaging effects of Cumberland County’s toxic air at a public forum hosted by the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania, an event spurred by The Sentinel’s three-day special report about air quality. Their attendance — not to mention their great ideas — is a sign that many in this area are serious about the issue even if our politicians appear not to be.

Many of those in attendance expressed their frustration that elected officials took a pass on dealing with the issue.

Read more:

http://cumberlink.com/news/opinion/editorial/our-view-our-air-a-grassroots-effort-reborn/article_5184199e-b425-11e2-bc60-0019bb2963f4.html

Smog alert ahead

http://cumberlink.com/news/opinion/columnists/guest/guest-editorial-smog-alert-ahead/article_83047dce-ae8f-11e2-bd59-001a4bcf887a.html

Summer will soon be here and that can mean high levels of air pollutants in our air, specifically ozone and small particles, commonly known as smog.

Meteorologists declare “Air Quality Action” days when they project that weather conditions are conducive for unhealthy air pollution. In 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called 12 “action days” for the Susquehanna Valley.

We should heed those warnings. Recent scientific studies conclude that short-term exposure to unhealthy air pollution can have significant adverse effects on pregnant women, children, the elderly and even the general population — especially those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma.

Short-term symptoms resulting from breathing high levels of ozone and fine particulate are chest pain, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. These pollutants also aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma — and can increase risks of stroke.

Children, senior citizens, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are urged to limit outdoor activities when an action day is predicted.

The quality of the air we breathe is a fundamental component of our overall health. The physiological effect of short-term ozone exposure is being unable to inhale to total lung capacity. Small particles, or PM 2.5, can be especially dangerous because they can travel deep into human tissue. Scientific studies over the last two decades have shown that exposure to high levels of PM 2.5 can raise the incidence of heart and pulmonary disease, cancer, infant mortality, low birth-weight babies, and even impaired cognitive function.

Air Quality Action days are often declared when there is little wind, and when the amount of ozone or particles in stagnant air could exceed federal health standards.

The DEP monitors local and regional air quality. Local television and radio stations alert the public to an Air Quality Action day prediction. Check your newspaper’s websites as well. The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania also monitors pollution levels at its website, and posts notices when DEP declares an Air Quality Action day. Go to: cleanairboard.wordpress.com

On Air Quality Action days, the public can take simple, voluntary actions to help reduce the chances of creating even more health-impairing pollution. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends 10 steps:

1. Instead of driving, share a ride, take public transportation, walk or bike.

2. If you must drive, avoid excessive idling or jack-rabbit starts, and try to consolidate errands.

3. Don’t refuel your car, or only do so after 7 pm.

4. Avoid using outboard motors, off-road vehicles, or other gasoline powered recreational vehicles.

5. Wait to mow your lawn until late evening or the next day. Also, avoid using gasoline-powered garden equipment.

6. Use latex paints instead of oil-based paints, solvents, or varnishes that produce fumes.

7. If you are barbecuing, use an electric starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid.

8. Limit or postpone your household chores that will involve the use of consumer products.

9. Conserve energy to reduce energy needs.

10. Keep your car well maintained to limit excess emissions.

As more scientists and public health officials have studied air quality, more links have discovered between pollution and illness. Our local monitoring and notification systems work like other public information systems that warn of danger and possible threats to our health. They work to protect us, and it is, therefore, wise to pay attention to them.

submitted to Sentinel by Thomas Au

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