Those sensitive to air
pollution may want to limit their outdoor exposure today, according to the Pennsylvania
Department of Environmental Protection.
The agency issued an “Orange Air Quality Action Day” for 13 Pennsylvania Counties including Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia.
According to a DEP press release issued Monday, the “action day” is due to fine particles in the air.
From the release: “Fine particulates become elevated when pollution from vehicles, industry, households and power plants combine with moisture droplets in the air and become trapped near the surface. During cold weather, fine particles rise when there is limited mixing (i.e. light winds) near the surface.”
The DEP is also asking that residents and businesses do what they can to curb the amount of fine particles entering the air by reducing or eliminating the use of fireplaces or wood burning stoves and by reducing car trips.
On Air Quality Action Days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities, the press release continued.
According to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency’s website, there were no “unhealthy days” last year for
the “general population" of either Montgomery, Bucks or Philadelphia counties.
The colors in the air quality index, as used by the EPA are:
- Green, which signifies “good”
- Yellow, which means “moderate”
- Orange, which represents “unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people” and
- Red, which warns of “unhealthy pollution levels for all”