This summer, the health risks associated with air pollution have become more of a concern for Delawareans than ever before.
Multiple stints of smog from wildfires in Canada have adversely affected the state’s air quality. But even without the fog from the northern fires, ozone pollution could still make the air unsafe.
in the meantime code red issued Ozone levels are also being tracked daily to see the level of particulate matter pollution in the air this summer, which usually causes poor air quality on hot, sunny summer days.
Here’s the best advice on how to mitigate health risks during Delaware’s ozone season, which runs through the end of September.
Advice to avoid the risk of ozone pollution
track ozone levels state daily tracker and the Environmental Protection Agency AirNow website These are the two best ways to plan ahead. But for people with pre-existing health conditions that force them to spend time outdoors on days with moderate or high ozone levels, such as construction workers, Angela Marconi, Director of Air Quality Division at DNREC, said: , we recommend that you always be prepared.
“My number one piece of advice is to always have your medication on hand,” she said. “If you have an inhaler or something to help you breathe, be sure to have it handy.”
Limiting outdoor activity during peak noon and evening daylight hours is a way to reduce exposure to the effects of high ozone levels.
“Ozone tends to increase throughout the day, peaking in the early evening or late afternoon,” Marconi said. “It’s a feature that forms in sunlight.”
The EPA has air quality guide Ozone has six categories: green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and maroon.
Orange Day is especially dangerous for people with lung disease, the elderly and children. As of July 10, there were three days this summer when the ozone layer reached orange levels across Delaware.
The EPA recommends the following to protect your health on high ozone days:
- Take more breaks during outdoor activities.
- Reschedule outdoor activities for the morning or another day when ozone levels are lower.
- Move activities indoors if possible.
- Avoid very intensive outdoor activities.
Do you work in the construction industry?Tips for Overcoming Ozone
Staying indoors and avoiding the outside air during the hottest hours of the day is recommended, but it is not always feasible for people who work full shifts outdoors, such as construction workers. yeah.
And as Professor Christina Archer of the University of Delaware pointed out, when the EPA moved to tracking ozone levels over an eight-hour average, it meant people were “more concerned about long-term exposure than rapid exposure to high ozone levels.” It indicated that there was a high possibility that it should be worrisome.
However, construction workers, gardeners and other outdoor workers can be exposed to such long exposures and during the most dangerous hours of the day.
Delaware Department of Transportation spokeswoman CR McLeod said the department has procedures in place for the state’s construction workers to anticipate bad air quality days. Below are the guidelines he shared.
emergency alert day
- Carefully limit exposure of staff working outdoors
- For staff working outdoors: Take frequent breaks, check on staff throughout the day, and provide KN95 masks to employees.
purple and maroon caution day
- Newcastle and Kent county cash toll collectors lifted from toll booths
- Automotive Inspection Lane and Road Testing Department Close
- On-site staff responds to essential/emergency calls only
- Field staff limit outdoor exposure and take frequent breaks
- KN95 masks are strongly recommended if staff must be outdoors. Masks will be provided by the department.