Active children and adults, people with heart and lung disease, including asthma, and older adults should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. on Sunday. Some particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream.

Air Quality Forecast for 06/28/20

Loveland, Ohio – Based on forecasted weather conditions and the impacts of the Saharan dust plume, the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency has issued an Air Quality Alert for Sunday, June 28.

The Agency expects levels of particulate matter in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” range.

CBS news reports: What’s been called the most significant dust cloud in 50 years has now shrouded the U.S. Gulf Coast in a thick, dusty haze. The dust layer, which originated in the Sahara desert and drifted across the Atlantic, is forecast to continue moving north and east through the weekend, impacting areas from Texas and Florida all the way up to as far north as the Canadian border.

 

Both COVID 19 and the particulate matter from the Sahara attack the respiratory system. Those persons already considered part of the “vulnerable” population during the pandemic are most at risk, as well as infants and toddlers with developing lungs.

You can help protect those most vulnerable

You can help the situation locally by not using fire pits, lighting campfires, charcoal grills, or setting off fireworks.

If you conserve electricity by turning out lights and unplugging unused appliances and electronics tomorrow it will reduce the demand for coal-burning power plants in our region.

If you must drive a vehicle and have a choice, consider an electric, hybrid, or gasoline-powered – over diesel. Diesel fuel is notorious for emitting dirty particulate emissions.

Use the vehicle that gets the best mileage and do not idle your vehicle.

Combine trips or eliminate unnecessary vehicle trips.

You can check the current air quality by clicking on this image and entering a ZIP Code.

What is PM, and how does it get into the air?Size comparisons for PM particlesSize comparisons for PM particles

PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.

Particle pollution includes:

  • PM10 : inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller; and
  • PM2.5 : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
    • How small is 2.5 micrometers? Think about a single hair from your head. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter – making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.

Sources of PM

These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.

Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.

Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

What are the Harmful Effects of PM?

Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems. Some particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. Of these, particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, also known as fine particles or PM2.5, pose the greatest risk to health.

Fine particles are also the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.

Learn more about health and environmental effects

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