The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an air quality action day for Tuesday, June 7, in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions.
The air quality forecast predicts Tuesday will be code ORANGE for ozone in the Pittsburgh Region for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties and in the Philadelphia Region for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia 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. Air quality action days are declared at orange and red when ozone or fine particulate matter reaches unhealthy levels.
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.
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.
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 with full loads; and Save energy by not overcooling your home.
These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley and the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership. For more information, visit DEP Air Quality Partnership webpage.