A Code Orange Ozone Alert has been issued for parts of the Mid-South.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An air quality alert has been issued for some counties in the News Channel 3 viewing area.

According to the Shelby County Health Department, a “Code Orange Air Quality Advisory” was issued Monday for the Memphis metropolitan area.

These areas are Shelby County, Tennessee; Crittenden County, Arkansas; and DeSoto County, Mississippi.

An “Orange Air Quality Forecast Advisory” indicates that ozone levels will exceed national ambient air quality standards for more than eight hours, a health concern for adults and children and people with respiratory problems such as asthma.

Credit: EPA The federal Environmental Protection Agency uses their color-coded scale for the Air Quality Index, from code green (good) to code maroon (dangerous).

These health precautions include:

  • Limit outdoor activities that last for a long time in the afternoon
  • High levels of ozone cause irritation of the nose, eyes, throat and lungs
  • High levels of ozone can exacerbate existing conditions and cause an increase in disease in this sensitive group

Ozone levels are expected to reach levels that are “unhealthy for healthy groups” due to local emissions, warmer temperatures, drier conditions and reduced winds.

Ozone Reduction Tips:

  • Refuel cars and lawn mowers after 7:00 p.m., avoid spills and do not “top off” tanks.
  • Car pool or mass transit
  • Combine turns instead of many separate trips
  • Drive less, especially during peak hours or on hot days

For more information on air quality, contact one of the following: SCHD Pollution Control at (901) 222-9599 or www.shelbytnhealth.com; Arkansas Energy and Environmental Planning and Air Quality Analysis Branch-Air Division at (501) 682-0070 or www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/default.htm; Arkansas Department of Health at (501) 661-2000. The DeSoto County MS air quality forecast is provided independently by MDEQ and may differ from the Memphis metropolitan air quality forecast provided by SCHD. For more information on the DeSoto County forecast, please visit MDEQ Air Quality Forecast or contact 601-961-5577.



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