Children are at most risk*
Loveland, Ohio – The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Monday, for Loveland; including Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio and Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties in Kentucky.
The Agency expects to see levels of ozone in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range on the Air Quality Index (AQI).
“Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” AQI is 101 – 150. People with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
Do your share:
- Take the bus, carpool, bike, or walk instead of drive.
- Refuel your vehicle after 8 p.m.; do not top off when refueling and tighten the gas cap.
- Do not idle your vehicle; exhaust contributes considerably to ozone formation.
- Combine trips or eliminating unnecessary vehicle trips.
- Keep your vehicle maintained with properly inflated tires and timely oil changes.
- Avoid use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment on Air Quality Advisory days.
- Avoid use of oil-based paints and stains on Air Quality Advisory days.
- Never burning leaves or other yard trimmings.
- Suspend use of fire pits, campfires and charcoal grills on Air Quality Advisory days.
- Conserve electricity by turning out lights and unplugging unused appliances and electronics.
Governments, organizations and businesses are asked to reduce emissions and conserve energy during an Air Quality Advisory.
- Put an air quality business plan in place. This puts our individual actions together to make an impact on a larger scale. Organizations are encouraged to have a written plan in place stating actions they will take on an Air Quality Advisory day.
- Share air quality information with your residents/employees/customers.
* “Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are growing and because they are so active.”
“Just like the arms and legs, the largest portion of a child’s lungs will grow long after he or she is born. Eighty percent of their tiny air sacs develop after birth. Those sacs, called the alveoli, are where the life-sustaining transfer of oxygen to the blood takes place. The lungs and their alveoli aren’t fully grown until children become adults.1 In addition, the body’s defenses that help adults fight off infections are still developing in young bodies.2 Children have more respiratory infections than adults, which also seems to increase their susceptibility to air pollution.”
Read more: Focusing on Children a resource guide from the American Lung Association.
Tips for Local Businesses to Follow on Air Quality Advisory Days
The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency encourages businesses to follow these tips to reduce emissions and conserve energy year-round and especially during an Air Quality Advisory.
- Suspend mowing
- Avoid using gasoline-powered maintenance equipment
- Avoid use of oil-based paints and stains
- Do not idle vehicles
- Turn off unnecessary lights in hallways
- Take advantage of natural light in offices and conference rooms
- Turn off lights when leaving individual offices, conference rooms, break rooms and restrooms
- Shut down computers at the end of the work day
- Unplug unused “standby” electronics at the end of the work day, such as conference room televisions, DVD players, Smartboards, as well as break room/kitchen microwaves.
- Encourage employees to carpool or take public transportation to work
- Allow employees to telecommute
- Consider installing motion sensor office lights
Business with Fleets
- Refuel vehicles before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m. when day time temperatures and air pollutant levels tend to be lower.
- Strategically plan routes to reduce driving time and lower fuel use.
- Establish an idle-free policy that limits company vehicle idling to no more than two minutes.
- Fire departments and park districts are encouraged to postpone live fire training and controlled prairie burns during an Air Quality Advisory, especially if it were prompted by elevated particulate matter levels.
- Similarly, construction projects should limit outdoor fire pits for workers’ warmth and offer an alternative such as breaks from the cold inside trailers.
What Else Can Be Done?
- Educate employees about the Air Quality Index. Include articles in your employee newsletter, and post flyers at time clocks and break areas.
- Install our free “Idle Free Zone” signs at your business’s public and employee parking areas to remind customers and staff to turn off their vehicles when parked.
- Strive make energy conservation a daily practice at your business; it may help reduce expenditures.
- Create an action plan for Air Quality Advisory days utilizing these tips. The Agency can assist with customizing a plan for your business.