With the high temperatures, sunshine and dry conditions air quality levels are heightened for smog ..
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Air Pollution Advisory: What does it mean?

An air pollution advisory is issued when conditions are conducive to the formation of ground-level ozone, more commonly known as smog, which leads to elevated air pollution levels. 

Smog is an irritant to the respiratory system and is formed when bright sunlight mixes with emissions from vehicles and small gasoline-powered engines. 

Advisories are issued by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission in conjunction with the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency. An Air Quality Index (AQI) reading at or above 101 is deemed “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Older adults, children, and individuals with lung disease are at a greater risk from the exposure to smog. 

An AQI at or above 151 is deemed unhealthy for everyone, and individuals may experience some adverse health effects and sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. An index at 201 to 300 is categorized as very unhealthy and would trigger a health alert. An AQI at 301 to 500 is deemed hazardous and would trigger health warnings of emergency conditions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Here are a few tips to reduce ground-level ozone: 

  • Avoid driving if possible
  • Refuel after 8pm if possible
  • Try to combine errands
  • Mow your lawn after 6 p.m. 
  • Drive a well-tuned vehicle and avoid excessive idling and acceleration

Below is a graph showing the level of smog in Dayton from 2000 to 2017. 

This tile graph showcases air quality levels in Dayton between 2000 and 2017 using the air quality index.

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