Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nashville may have unhealthy ozone levels today

By Anne Paine • THE TENNESSEAN • April 13, 2010 People with lung problems, including asthma, children and active adults, such as joggers, should take care today. An unhealthy level of ozone is forecast to build up in the air, according to the Clean Air Partnership of Middle Tennessee. "This is a bit earlier in the season than we typically see in this area," said Melissa Stevens, partnership spokeswoman. The alert is an "orange level" warning. Higher levels are possible when everyone should be wary. Ozone at ground level, a hot weather phenomenon, forms when emissions from vehicles, coal-fired power plants, boats and other fossil-fueling burning sources react in sunlight. It can irritate lungs, even searing them like a sunburn, and harm plants, too. Ozone high in the atmosphere is protective of the earth, shielding it from ultraviolet rays. Changing habits helps: • Carpool and combine errands into a single trip. • Avoid idling your car. • Refuel your car after dusk, when it's cooler and ozone production has dropped. • Don't use gas-powered lawn equipment today. Go to www.airnow.gov for details.

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