Air Quality Alert issued for most of Northeast Ohio, but what does that mean?

CLEVELAND - You see them on the highway on a hot day, but what do air quality alerts mean?

On Tuesday, an air quality index alert was issued for Northeast Ohio by Air Now, warning active children and people with lung diseases such as asthma to reduce any prolonged exposure outside.

Air Now was developed by federal agencies like the EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide easy access to national air quality levels.

Air quality alerts often happen on warm weather days, particularly in metropolitan areas like Cleveland and Chicago, where alerts are frequent.

Air quality forecasts tell the public how clean or polluted our air is, and what health effects are associated with poor air quality. Alerts are usually issued on hot days when humidity levels are thick.

The Air Quality Index is categorized into six levels:

What you can do to reduce air pollution on hot days:

  • Cleaner commute with carpool, public transportation, bike or walk
  • Reduce idling
  • Be sure tires are properly inflated
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