Ozone Action Day issued for southeast Michigan Saturday

Breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause variety of health problems

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has declared Saturday, July 20 an Ozone Action day in Southeast Michigan.

DETROIT - The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has declared Saturday, July 20 an Ozone Action day in Southeast Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy meteorologists forecast hot, humid weather to continue through Saturday. A cold front on Saturday night will end the threat of high ozone concentrations heading into next week. 

It is always important that local governments, businesses, and the general public do what they can to voluntarily lower pollutant emissions on Ozone Action days when high levels of ozone are expected.

Breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause a variety of health problems, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with asthma or other lung diseases.

"We all need to help keep the air clean," said Kathleen Lomako, SEMCOG Executive Director.

"Since the mid-1990s, air quality in Southeast Michigan has improved. That is due, in part, to the actions that residents take on Ozone Action days, giving credence to one of SEMCOG's key messages -- that individual actions taken by many can make a difference. We look for that support again this summer."

Here are some simple things that Southeast Michigan residents can do to help keep the air clean on Saturday:

•    Delay mowing your lawn until evening or the next day. Exhaust from your lawn mower and other gas-powered lawn and garden equipment help form ozone.
•    Leave your car at home. Instead, take the bus, carpool, bike, walk, or telecommute. You'll reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as save money. Learn more about Southeast Michigan Commuter Connect.
•    Avoid refueling your vehicle during daylight hours. Fumes released at the gas pump contribute to ozone formation.
•    Delay or combine errands. This will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
•    Reduce electricity use. Adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher and turn off lights, computers, and other electrical devices when not in use.

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