Loudon County Code Orange
Air Quality Action Day
By: Pat Hunter
Loudon County does not meet ozone and fine particulate matter federal clean air regulations. Loudon, Knox and surrounding counties were declared in "non-attainment" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)
Loudon County and surrounding counties are under a Code Orange Health Advisory. A Code Orange Health Message means that active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors. Remain indoors in a cool place. The EPA recommends limited outdoor activities as ozone levels rise to unhealthy levels.
CODE ORANGE ACTION DAYS - too numerous
More bad air days to add to the growing list of Ozone Alert days. School is back in session and outdoor activities should be carefully monitored by the adults in charge.
The EPA has issued an Ozone Alert Action Day for August 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17, 15, 14, 13, and 12th. August 5, Aug. 4, and August 3rd were also declared Ozone Alert Action Days by the EPA. Before that - it wasn't too long ago that Loudon County was facing the 6th straight day of Code Orange Action days. July 16, July 17, July 18, July 19, July 20 and July 21 were declared a code Orange Air Quality Action Day, which was in effect for Knox, Loudon, Anderson, Union, Grainger, Hamblen-Northwest, Cocke, Roane, Jefferson Northwest, Blount-North and Sevier counties. Ground level ozone concentrations are expected to approach or exceed unhealthy standards.
Is ground level Ozone Harmful to health?
Yes. If you are a typical adult, you'll breathe in close to 2,000 gallons of air in a single day. Living with ground level ozone-pollution, you may see your lung function reduced.
High concentrations of ozone can cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, headaches, nausea, chest pain, and eye and throat irritation. The most common symptom that people have when exposed to ozone while exercising is pain when taking a deep breath.
There are six groups of people who are most vulnerable:
Children because their respiratory systems are still developing and their airways are narrower. They're more active and spend more time outdoors, inhaling more air pollution per pound of body weight than adults.
People with pre-existing respiratory problems (e.g. asthma, emphysema).
Athletes and individuals who exercise outdoors or work outside (i.e. construction workers).
Some individuals, "Responders," are more susceptible to ozone exposure.
Senior citizens, because their respiratory and immune systems lose some of their resilience. Damage caused by ground level ozone pollution can aggravate existing conditions or irritate tissues that make them susceptible to infection.
SOURCE: Valley Air NOW
STEPS YOU CAN
TAKE TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION
∑ Choose a cleaner commute (share a ride to work or use public transportation).
∑ Modify plant/store operations to reduce combustion sources (reduces NOx) and
∑ Limit engine idling, skip the drive thru.
∑ Conserve energy (cut back A/C, turn off appliances/light, and close blinds).
∑ Postpone lawn mowing and filling of gas tanks until evening.
∑ Donít burn leaves or trash.
∑ Take your lunch to work or walk to a nearby restaurant.
∑ Combine errands.Ē
Air quality conditions and forecasts: http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.fcsummary
Ground level ozone: http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/
Particulates EPA: http://www.epa.gov/air/particles/
Particulates and health EPA: http://www.epa.gov/air/particles/health.html
CODE ORANGE ALERT
AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY
OZONE HEALTH ALERT: Active children and adults, people with lung disease, such as asthma, should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
PARTICLES 2.5 Health Message: Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.
LOUDON COUNTY OZONE ACTION DAYS:
August 22, Friday
August 21, Thursday
August 20, Wednesday
August 19, Tuesday
August 18, Monday
August 17, Sunday
August 15, Friday
August 14, Thursday
August 13, Wednesday
August 12, Tuesday
August 5, Tuesday
August 4, Monday
August 3, Sunday
Monday, July 21
Sunday, July 20
Saturday, July 19
Friday, July 18
Thursday, July 17
Wednesday, July 16