The Department of Environmental Protection and the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership have forecast an air quality action day for Friday, July 1, in the Pittsburgh forecasting region.
On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.
The air quality forecast predicts Friday to be code ORANGE for ozone in the Pittsburgh region. The Pittsburgh region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality. Green signifies good; yellow means moderate; orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people; and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all.
Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from vehicles, industry, households and power plants "bakes" in the hot sun, making it hard for some people to breathe.
To help keep the air healthy, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by taking the following steps: Ride the bus or carpool to work; Wash dishes and clothes only with full loads; and Save energy by turning off unused lights in your home.
These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership.