Ozone alert in effect today in metro KC

The prospect of unhealthy levels of smog today has prompted officials to issue an orange Ozone Alert for the entire metropolitan Kansas City area.

The alert was issued Sunday by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Air Quality Program.

This alert indicates that an unhealthy level of ground-level ozone, also known as smog, is expected in the Kansas City region.

The two most important actions residents should take on Ozone Alert days are:

• Protect your health

Ozone pollution can cause a variety of problems in healthy adults, including chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation and difficulty breathing. People who are sensitive to air pollution—children, seniors and people with breathing or heart problems—should limit their exposure to outdoor air between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Everyone should consider scheduling outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

• Reduce pollution

More than half of all emissions that lead to ozone pollution is caused by doing yard work, driving, grilling and other everyday activities. Residents can help reduce pollution by carpooling, taking the bus, postponing mowing and postponing refueling vehicles. On Ozone Alert days, fares for regular bus routes are only 75 cents.

Emissions from vehicles, lawn and garden equipment and other sources react in heat and sunlight to form ozone pollution. Other environmental factors—such as warm, sunny weather, low wind speeds and lack of rain—increase the likelihood of poor air quality.

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