The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is urging Northwest Indiana residents to take action to reduce ozone today in an effort to keep air pollutants down.
IDEM issued an air pollution action day for Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton and Porter counties for Friday due to a forecast of high levels of ozone.
Ground-level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction when sunlight, high temperatures and low winds combine to trap and bake two common pollutants, nitrous oxide and volatile organic compounds. Those pollutants are found in gasoline and emissions from vehicles and other combustion engines and burning fossil fuels like coal.
Keeping ozone levels low assists in good respiratory healthy, especially for at-risk groups like children, seniors and people with pre-existing lung conditions such as asthma.
IDEM encourages Hoosier to take action to reduce ozone on air pollution action day by reducing car trips, combining errands, using gasoline-powered lawn equipment only after 7 p.m., turning off vehicle engines when idling for more than 30 seconds, avoiding fast-food drive-through windows and conserving energy by turning off lights and setting air conditioners to 75 degrees or higher.