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Bad Air Day Alert: Outdoor Air Pollutants at High Level
Date:8/17/2009

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Higher summertime levels of outdoor ground-level ozone, microscopic particle pollution like smoke and smog, as well as other air pollutants may cause anyone who is sensitive to these airborne contaminants to experience shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, and may also trigger asthma attacks and cause lung irritation(1). According to AIRNow.gov(2), a government-developed index for reporting daily air quality, the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, including but not limited to Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, are presently experiencing a code orange(3) bad air day with the air quality index showing unhealthy levels of ozone.

"Persons who are particularly susceptible to these effects, such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, need to be aware of outdoor levels of air pollution," said Dr. Neil Schachter, past president of the American Lung Association of the City of New York and author of Life and Breath. "Even those who are healthy should avoid long-term outdoor exposure on a bad air day."

But, we also need to pay attention to indoor air quality as well. Although there is the potential for outdoor particles to make their way inside the home, many other particles start in the home and stay there unless you have a way to reduce them, notes Steve Ramos, featured home inspector on HGTV's House Detective. According to the EPA, indoor levels of some pollutants may be two to five times higher than outdoor levels.

"If you're trying to avoid outdoor pollution by staying indoors, take the proper steps to help improve the air quality in your home," said Ramos. "Remember to follow the four C's -- Control, Change, Close and Clean -- to help reduce indoor air pollutants."

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