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Ozone Alert for Tulsa

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The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an ozone alert for today, for the Tulsa metropolitan area. An ozone alert means that conditions are favorable for the buildup of ozone near the ground, to an unhealthy level.

When winds are light, the vapors from fuels such as gasoline, exhaust from engines, and air pollutants from industrial activities remain trapped near the ground. If sunshine is abundant when these air pollutants build up, a chemical process is triggered that results in the development of ozone near the ground during the afternoon and evening hours.

While ozone in the upper levels of the atmosphere is beneficial in screening the suns radiation, it is harmful near the ground. Ozone can bother those with respiratory problems and can damage vegetation. A few simple measures can be taken to help keep the ozone levels from becoming unhealthy. During ozone alert days:

·      Postpone any unnecessary driving and car pool if possible.

·      If you do drive to work, turn the air conditioner in your car off during your morning commute. You can also cut down on extra driving by bringing your lunch to work.

·      If you must refuel your vehicle, do it in the evening after the sun goes down or postpone your fueling to another day.

·      Postpone running the lawn mower and gas trimmer, the exhaust from these small engines contributes a significant amount of pollution to the air. Industrial facilities should reduce pollution emissions as much as possible on ozone alert days.

These preventative measures, performed throughout the Tulsa metro area, can have a tremendous effect in reducing the pollutants that contribute to ozone problems.