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Air Quality Action Day Forecast Wednesday for Pittsburgh Region
Date:9/2/2008

Residents, Businesses Encouraged to Reduce Air Pollution

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an air quality action day for Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the Pittsburgh region.

The air quality forecast predicts Wednesday will be code ORANGE for ozone in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality (green signifies good, yellow means moderate, orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people, and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all). Air quality action days are declared at orange and red when fine particulate matter reaches unhealthy levels.

Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from vehicles, industry, households and power plants "bakes" in the hot sun, making it hard for some people to breathe.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

To help keep the air healthy, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain pollution-producing activities by taking the following steps:

-- Ride the bus or carpool to work;

-- Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials;

-- Wash dishes and clothes with full loads; and

-- Save energy -- do not overcool your home.

These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley, the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, the Lehigh Valley/Berks Air Quality Partnership, and the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership.

For more information on ozone, visit '/>"/>

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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