BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New York will be under an Air Quality Health Advisory from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6.
The advisory from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) warns of ozone as a pollutant in the air since levels of ozone or fine particulate matter will reach higher than 100 on the Air Quality Index Wednesday.
Ground-level ozone can be caused by summer heat and vehicle exhaust. The ozone is a “major component of photochemical smog,” according to the DEC.
During the hours of the advisory, residents can stay indoors to reduce their exposure to the ozone. Symptoms of harm done by ozone include shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing. Those experiencing symptoms should see a doctor.
The DEC says ground-level ozone is different from the “protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.”
The levels of ground-level ozone decrease during the night hours.
The DEC recommends the following to save energy and reduce pollution:
- use mass transit or carpool instead of driving, as automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of pollution in our cities;
- conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips;
- turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas;
- use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees;
- close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air;
- limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters;
- set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures;
- purchase and install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label; and
- reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of PM 2.5 such as smoking.
Other parts of New York, including the New York City Metro area and Long Island will be under the advisory Wednesday.