The dirty air alert has been expanded, and extended: Ridiculous, dangerous, outrageous...
Per the DNR:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Watch for Particle Pollution for Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties effective 12:01 am on Monday, March 16, 2009 through 11:59 pm on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 .
The watch is being issued because of the forecast for elevated levels of fine particles in the air. Fine particle pollution is composed of microscopic dust, soot, liquid droplets and smoke particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and wood burning.
The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach 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 air quality watch is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on str enuous activities during the watch period.
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 wood burning.
For more ideas on how you can reduce your emissions today and every day visit: Do a little, save a lot!
For more information:
Air Quality Watches and Advisories Status Web Site
Daily Air Quality Hotline - 1-866-324-5924 (1-866-DAILY AIR)
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