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Ozone Action Days aims to improve air quality in Omaha metro area

Posted at 6:41 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 19:41:54-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The next two days have been declared Ozone Action Days because of air quality in our area.

It is on the very high end of the moderate level on Wednesday, almost reaching the next level. That means conditions are unhealthy for sensitive groups.

3 News Now Anchor Mary Nelson talked to Dr. Jill Poole with Nebraska Medicine, who is also the division chief of allergy and immunology at UNMC.

She says days like Wednesday can affect our lung function by a few percentage points.

“So there's just a spectrum of your lung disease and how twitchy your lungs are and how asthmatic you are. And some people are going to be more susceptible to these environmental triggers, of ozone, some are more susceptible to the allergens and some people are more susceptible to infections,” said Poole.

Thursday's air quality forecast is a bit better but is still in the moderate range.

Local health leaders encourage the following habits to improve air quality:

  • Driving less by carpooling, walking, biking or taking transit
  • Refuel at dusk or nighttime to avoid greater loss of fuel through evaporation
  • Choose ethanol and biodiesel where possible
  • Don't let your car idle for more than 30 seconds
  • Use electric or manual lawn equipment or use gas-powered equipment during cooler hours.

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