0CFE69074D054EC786164AC7D52B6357
USA

WeatherBug® Your Weather Just Got Better™

Change Units: °F  | °C

Weather News

USA

Air Quality Awareness Week Begins

May 2, 2011

By WeatherBug Meteorologists

Enlarge

The week of May 2-6 has been designated Air Quality Awareness Week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Weather Service.

Air pollution takes on many forms, but in the U.S., ozone and particle pollution are the most common.

Ozone in the upper levels of the atmosphere protects us from the sun`s most dangerous rays. Unfortunately, ozone found near the ground makes for unhealthy breathing. Ozone is formed when pollutants interact with sunshine and generally reaches peak levels during the heat of the late-afternoon and early-evening, generally starting in late spring and lasting through the summer. Sources of this type of pollution range from automobiles to industry.

Particle pollution is exactly as it sounds; tiny particles that can cause the haze or smog that we often associate with cities.

Levels of both pollutants rise during times of light wind which leads to increased concentrations near the ground. Exposure to polluted air has been linked to a variety of health complications.

High levels of pollution are especially dangerous for children, persons with breathing and heart disorders and the elderly. People in these sensitive groups are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity once the Air Quality Index (AQI) rises above 101 (orange).

The most up-to-date AQI for your area is available in WeatherBug`s Outdoor Health section. Click here for an explanation on the AQI.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at WeatherBug WeatherBuzz.

What do you think of this story?
Click here for comments or suggestions.

Recent Stories:

News submitted by WeatherBug users

Backyard Blog

News, observations and weather commentary

Photo Gallery

View images of recent storms and seasonal weather.

User Videos

WeatherBug community news and weather videos.

Weather Groups

Discuss severe weather and regional storm activity.

Featured Cameras

Live Camera from a random camera within the United States
View live images and time-lapse video animation from local WeatherBug weather cameras.

WeatherBug Featured Content

Green Living

Green Living

You too can help save our planet and put money back in your wallet. Learn how you can take the first steps to reduce your environmental impact, including driving green, easy ways you can conserve water, and energy saving tips. To learn more and discover the benefits of going green, visit WeatherBug’s green living section. More >

Sponsored Content