Douglas County air quality likely affected by ozone levels, fireworks use

Health experts say fireworks pose a risk to air quality
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 11:15 AM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Friday has been declared an Air Quality Action Day due to higher ozone concentrations.

According to the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), higher concentrations of ground-level ozone, as well as commercial firework use over the weekend, may lower air quality in the area.

MAPA says the air quality forecast from the Douglas County Health Department has shown ground-level ozone to be in the “moderate” range on the Federal Air Quality Index. The forecast shows ground-level ozone to be in the higher end of the “moderate” range for Friday and the lower end of the “moderate” range for Saturday.

Higher ozone levels can cause health issues for children, the elderly and people with chronic respiratory problems like asthma.

According to MAPA, firework use over the weekend can cause particle pollution and worsen air quality.

Due to the lower air quality, MAPA has declared Friday as an Air Quality Action Day.

MAPA recommends people take the following steps to help lower the ground-level ozone:

  • Avoid idling vehicles.
  • Combine errands into fewer trips to reduce vehicle use.
  • Avoid fuel evaporation by refueling at dusk or nighttime.
  • Try using electric-powered lawn equipment.

Douglas County air quality is monitored continuously.

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