Air quality health advisory in effect on Long Island

07/18/2011 11:51 AM |

High levels of ozone pollution have made an Air Quality Health Advisory for necessary for the North Fork today, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health announced.

There are high levels of ground-level ozone, which is formed by summer heat and is a major component of smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission are the main causes of ground-level ozone, which shouldn’t be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere, the DEC warned.

Those who exercise outdoors, are involved in vigorous outdoor work and have respiratory diseases should limit strenuous outdoor physical activity, the two departments suggest. Those experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consult a doctor.

The DEC encourages Long Islanders to take the following energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:

  • Use mass transit or carpooling.
  • Conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining trips in your car.
  • Turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas.
  • Use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees.
  • Close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and preserve cooled air.
  • Limit use of household appliances like dishwashers, dryers and pool pumps. If necessary, run appliances after 7 p.m.
  • Purchase or install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star Label.

samantha@northshoresun.com