Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Great News! The Dirty Air Alert Into Tuesday For Wisconsin Only Covers 16 Counties

After several days of dirty air alerts for all Wisconsin's 72 counties, the warning issued Monday evening and running through noon Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources only covers 16 counties.

That's progress - - unless you live in Barron, Brown, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, and Taylor counties.

No clean air for you.

Here's the full text from the DNR as of Monday night, and I added a little boldfacing to help you plow through the bureaucratese:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Advisory for Particle Pollution (Orange) effective Monday, February 25, 2008 8:00:00 PM through Tuesday, February 26, 2008 12:00:00 PM for Barron, Brown, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix and Taylor counties.

The advisory is being issued because of persistent elevated levels of fine particles in the air. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and wood fires.

The Air Quality Index is currently in the orange level, which is considered unhealthy for people in sensitive groups. People in those sensitive groups include those with heart or lung disease, asthma, older adults and children.

When an orange advisory for particle pollution is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous activities.

People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, and heart disease should pay attention to cardiac symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms.

Fine particle pollution deposits itself deep into the lungs and cannot easily be exhaled. People who are at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high particle pollution exposure.

To receive air quality advisories by e-mail, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/air/newsletters/.
There are several actions the public can take to reduce their contributions to this regional air quality problem.
Reduce driving when possible and don't leave vehicle engines idling.
Postpone activities that use small gasoline and diesel engines.
Minimize outdoor wood fires.
Conserve electricity.
For more ideas on how you can reduce your emissions today and every day visit: Do a little, save a lot!
For more information:
Federal interagency air quality web site, for information on the Air Quality Index and nationwide air quality forecasts and air quality conditions, http://airnow.gov/
DNR's statewide air quality monitoring web page, http://dnrmaps.wisconsin.gov/wisards
For local DNR air management program contacts, http://dnr.wi.gov/air/about/regions.htm

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