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An Ozone Action Day Alert is in effect for the Front Range Wednesday. Here's what it means for you

Posted: 11:11 AM, Jun 12, 2024
Updated: 2024-06-12 13:19:02-04
denver metro air quality july 20

DENVER — It is another Ozone Action Day Alert for the Front Range, and an air quality warning is in effect until at least 4 p.m. Wednesday for the Denver metro area, west to the foothills, north to the Wyoming border and over portions of the northeastern plains. So what exactly does that mean for you and your family?

In short, air quality is reduced. We often see Ozone Action Day Alerts over the summer months as temperatures warm across urban environments and ozone concentrations potentially reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category.

Ozone is a chemical compound that impacts life on earth in both good and bad ways. The ozone layer is high above the planet and blocks U-V radiation from the sun. That’s a good thing, we need that. There is also ground level ozone that we breathe, which occurs from a chemical reaction of things like exhaust and pollutants that mixes with sunlight. This can be harmful.

An Ozone Action Day Alert is in effect for the Front Range Wednesday. Here's what it means for you

Elevated ground level ozone can cause eye, lung, and throat irritation. At-risk groups, like those with respiratory symptoms and breathing discomfort or lung disease, will want to limit time outdoors, especially during the late afternoon and early evening when temperatures reach the highest point for the day.

Vehicle emissions and industrial activities also create contaminants. On Ozone Action Day Alerts, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) requests we limit driving gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. Opt to carpool, take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike if possible.

Dangerous irritation can increase in everyone, particularly when wildfire smoke particles are the air. Close doors and windows and avoid vigorous outdoor activities if we see any fire activity, with drifting smoke and haze this summer.

Around 61% of Colorado’s ozone is out of our control but doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint and keep our planet green, is always helpful to our environment.

Why the Colorado Front Range’s ozone levels are so poor

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