Ozone Alert issued for Tuesday, Aug. 22

Aug 21, 2023
| Posted in
A meter showing an orange reading against a sky

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Air Quality Program has issued an orange Ozone Alert for Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. This alert indicates that an unhealthy level of ground-level ozone is expected tomorrow in the Kansas City region. This is the 14th alert for this ozone season. 

"As with the excessive heat warning, many of the same recommendations apply: avoid prolonged outdoor activity or physical exertion, put off traveling at least until late evening if possible, stay well-hydrated and check in on family and friends,” said Doug Norsby, MARC senior environmental planner. “Children, older adults and those with health conditions need to be particularly cautious. Wednesday, we should finally start seeing some clouds to help slow ozone development and a little more wind to disperse pollution, but there is still plenty of heat and sun to come before a break comes over the weekend. We will continue to monitor air quality closely.”

Ozone pollution is formed when emissions from vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, and other sources react in heat and sunlight. Environmental factors — such as warm, sunny weather; low wind speeds; and lack of rain — increase the likelihood of poor air quality. 

The two most important things residents should do on Ozone Alert days are:

Ozone pollution can cause a variety of problems — even in healthy adults — including chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation and difficulty breathing. People who are sensitive to air pollution, including children, older adults and people with breathing or heart problems, should limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Everyone should consider scheduling outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

More than half of all emissions that lead to ozone pollution are caused by everyday activities such as driving and yard work. To help reduce air pollution, you can postpone mowing and wait until evening to refuel vehicles. Try to schedule walking and biking trips before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m., and avoid prolonged exposure to outdoor air. 

Learn more about simple actions to reduce pollution and follow the SkyCast, the region’s daily air quality forecast, at AirQKC.org. MARC issues the SkyCast each afternoon from March 1 through Oct. 31. SkyCast information is also available via the air quality information line, 816-701-8287, on social media at www.twitter.com/airQKC and from area media outlets.