Residents, Businesses Encouraged to Reduce Air Pollution
HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast an air quality action day for Friday, Jan. 15, in the Liberty/Clairton region in southeastern Allegheny County, which includes Clairton, Glassport, Liberty, Lincoln and Port Vue boroughs.
The air quality forecast predicts Friday will be code ORANGE for particulate matter. 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.
Fine particular matter or PM 2.5 has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, about one-thirtieth the diameter of a human hair. These particles can get deep into the lungs and cause significant health problems. PM 2.5 has been determined to be most closely associated with health effects related to increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and disease, and decreased lung function.
The particles come from a wide range of sources – from power plants, industry, cares, trucks, buses, wood stoves and forest fires. Some particles are released when fuels are burned; others form in the atmosphere from reactions between gases released from power plants and factories.
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;
- Wash dishes and clothes only with full loads; and
- Save energy – turn off unused lights in your home.
These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the air quality partnerships of the Delaware Valley, the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, the Lehigh Valley/Berks Air Quality Partnerships, and the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership.
For more information, visit DEP's Bureau of Air Quality at www.depweb.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Helen Humphries, 412-442-4183
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection