Chesterton Tribune

IDEM urges caution, restraint as air quality worsens on hot days

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) was forecasting high ozone levels on Thursday for Northwest Indiana, including Porter County.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake 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.

Anyone sensitive to poor 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 encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making simple changes to their daily habits:

•Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation.

•Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip.

•Avoid using gasoline-powered lawn equipment.

•Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds.

•Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above.

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about ozone or sign up for air quality forecasts, visit



Posted 7/21/2011