(UNDATED) - The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is forecasting high ozone levels Sunday in parts of the state including Greene, Owen and Monroe counties.
Anyone sensitive to poor air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high.
Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties.
The following metropolitan areas are also affected by this alert.
*Anderson - Madison County
*Central Indiana - Boone, Brown, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, Putnam, and Shelby counties
*Columbus-Seymour - Bartholomew and Jackson counties
*Greater Louisville - Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott, and Washington counties
*Muncie - Delaware County
*Southwest Indiana - Dubois, Gibson, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties
IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making simple changes to their daily habits. You can:
*Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation.
*Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip.
*Avoid using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
*Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds.
*Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above.
IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. To learn more about ozone or sign up for air quality forecasts, visit www.SmogWatch.IN.gov.
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