The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has issued an Air Pollution Action Day Alert for the Chicago Metropolitan area for Saturday, May 26.
The alert includes the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Lake, McHenry and Will. Regional air quality is expected to reach the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category on the national Air Quality Index today and extend into Saturday. This will be the first Action Day issued for 2018. Additional Action Day Alerts could be issued should conditions continue through the extended weekend.
Ground-level ozone is forecasted to be elevated today, posing a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, including individuals with respiratory or pulmonary disorders as well as active children and adults.
Sensitive individuals should take special precautions and follow their physician prescribed regimen. All residents should keep cool and limit physical activity when air pollution levels are high.
Businesses and residents in the region are also encouraged to take steps to reduce contributions to air pollution.
• Take public transit, Rideshare, walk or bike.
• If driving, avoid idling, consolidate errands and run them after 7 p.m. when sunlight is not as strong.
• Reduce energy demands
• Use energy efficient lighting.
• Set your thermostats up at least two degrees and use a programmable thermostat.
• Turn off and unplug electronics not in use.
• Use environmentally friendly household and cleaning products.
• Use a charcoal chimney or gas grill instead of lighter fluid when grilling.
• Avoid using gasoline-powered equipment.
• Do not burn leaves and other yard waste.
• Notify colleagues, friends and family to help protect their health and encourage actions.
Because air quality can change from day to day, the Illinois EPA provides daily air quality forecasts based on the Air Quality Index (AQI) for fourteen sectors throughout Illinois.
The AQI is a color-coded system that classifies air quality from Good to Hazardous.
Air quality forecasts are available at www.airnow.gov.
In addition, individuals can subscribe to receive air quality forecasts for free via email or Twitter at illinois.enviroflash.info.