Heat Prompts Air Quality Warning

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hot temperatures have health officials sounding an alert about air quality in the state's metro areas.

The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment issued an Air Quality Health Advisory on Tuesday for the Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita areas. KDHE says high ground-level ozone concentrations were recorded in the cities Monday.

KDHE says high temps, clear skies and moderate winds weren't expected to change for a few days, prompting the alert.

“Excessive heat is conducive to the formation of ozone,” said KDHE Bureau of Air Director Rick Brunetti. “Coupled with the light to moderate winds, elevated concentrations of ozone are possible, especially in the major metropolitan areas of the state.”

More on ozone from KDHE:

KDHE says unhealthy levels of ozone can cause throat irritation, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection and aggravation of asthma and other respiratory ailments. These symptoms are worsened by exercise and heavy activity. The children, elderly and people who have underlying lung diseases, such as asthma, are at particular risk of suffering from these effects. As ozone levels increase, the number of people affected and the severity of the health effects also increase. To avoid experiencing these effects, limit outdoor exercise and strenuous activity and stay in an air-conditioned environment if possible during the afternoon and early evening hours, when ozone levels are highest. Schedule outdoor exercise and children's outdoor activities in the morning hours. Individuals who experience respiratory symptoms may wish to consult their doctors.

Residents and employers are asked to use these tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:

· Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute.

· Avoid using gasoline powered trimmers and leaf blowers.

· Refuel your vehicle in the evenings and do not top off the tank.

· Reduce idling; avoid congested traffic areas if possible.


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