Ozone Level Notification
When you see this image on the home page, an Ozone Level Notification has been issued. Ozone levels at or above 0.075 ppm can be potentially harmful. It is recommended that people stay away from high-intensity exercise during high levels.
If you have the option of exercising in the cooler times of the day (mornings and evenings), instead of the heat of the day, your lungs will thank you.
Ozone. Good up high. Bad nearby.
Unlike the good, protective ozone layer in the stratosphere, ground level ozone is a harmful air pollutant that affects all of us. It’s formed when emissions from everyday items combine with other pollutants and “cook” in the heat and sunlight. Sources of such emissions include local industry, gasoline-powered vehicles and lawn equipment, and household paints, stains and solvents, and some native plants and trees. Weather also plays a key role in ozone formation. The highest ozone levels are usually recorded in summer months when temperatures approach the high 80s and 90s and the wind is stagnant or light.
Ground-Level ozone affects everybody.
Studies have shown that ozone can inflame and damage the lining of the lungs. Within a few days, the damaged cells are shed and replaced – much like the skin peels after a sunburn. However, if this type of inflammation happens repeatedly over a long time period, lung tissue may become permanently scarred, resulting in less lung elasticity, permanent loss of lung function, and a lower quality of life.
Stay alert all summer.
Remember, the highest ozone levels are typically found on days that reach the high 80s and 90s and when the wind is stagnant or light. Check for Ozone Level Notices on the home page.
Don’t just breathe, do something.
We invite you, fellow breathers, to become a part of the solution. There are simple, easy steps you can take to reduce harmful emissions during ozone pollution season. Be OzoneAware and utilize the following tips and suggestions to help reduce ozone in our county.
Preventing Ozone – It’s Easy To Do Your Part
The fewer ozone-causing emissions you produce on hot, still, summer days, the better. So here are some easy-to-follow tips to help take care of our summer air.
PREVENTING OZONE On the Road
You’re in the driver’s seat to reduce Ozone Pollution.
Ozone and vehicles. Did you know that vehicles significantly contribute to ozone-causing emissions in the Summit County area? These emissions are produced by the cars and trucks we drive every day. But we can lower the impact on our air by improving their maintenance, reducing the number of miles traveled each day, and making public transportation a priority.
Don’t be Idle. An idling vehicle gets the worst gas mileage possible – 0 MPG. We hope to dispel many myths about idling vehicles, including the idea that you use more fuel turning your car on and off. That is simply not true. If you plan to idle for more than 30 seconds, please turn off your engine. For more information, visit the Idle Free Information page.
Emissions Awareness. Give your vehicle a clean bill of health by taking the right steps when the Check Engine Light turns on. The Check Engine Light keeps your engine running at peak efficiency and alters you when repairs are needed. Getting it checked can help prevent costly repairs later, improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and protect the environment.
Transport Yourself Differently. There are alternative ways to get around other than single-occupancy vehicles. The free bus system in Park City and Summit County is one of the best around. For bus maps, routes and times, click here.
Tips for summer drivers:
- Keep your car tuned up and tires well inflated to increase mileage and reduce the need for refueling.
- Refuel in the evening, so fuel vapors will not have a chance to “cook” into ozone.
- When refueling your car, stop at the click — when the nozzle clicks off. Don’t overfill or drip fuel. Fuel creates ozone-causing vapors as it evaporates.
- Avoid idling your car unnecessarily while waiting in parking lots or service lines. Turn off the engine instead.
- Reduce your driving by delaying trips, combining errands into one trip, carpooling, walking or biking, or using public transportation.
PREVENTING OZONE In Your Yard
Lawn mowers and lawn equipment contribute to ozone pre-cursor emissions. You can do your part to reduce emissions from your yard by following these simple tips:
- Delay mowing until evening — don’t mow, let it grow.
- Maintain your gas-powered mower to help it run cleaner — change the air filter, oil and spark plugs at least once each season. Keep the underside of the mower free of grass build-up.
- Avoid using two-stroke gasoline-powered yard equipment, such as weed trimmers, since they emit a disproportionate share of air pollution.
- Use a funnel to refuel equipment — avoid even small spills and drips.
- Reduce lawn watering and fertilizing to discourage excessive lawn growth.
- Xeriscape to reduce lawn area, or change to native western grasses to reduce the need for irrigation and mowing.
- Choose an alternative to charcoal grilling.
- Don’t use petroleum distillate charcoal lighter fluids, which emit a lot of harmful vapors. Use an electric starter or charcoal chimney instead.
PREVENTING OZONE Around the House
Ozone isn’t just from our cars, the items we use at home can also impact ozone levels:
- Avoid solvent-based products, which have pollution causing vapors (VOCs). Use water-based paint, stain and sealants.
- If you must use a solvent-based product, avoid using it on ozone action alert days or use it in the evening.
- Avoid spray paints, most of which are solvent based. Very fine spray also can become airborne. Use paint brushes and rollers instead.
- Tightly cap all solvents (gasoline, paint thinners, strippers, degreasers) and store in a cool place to avoid evaporation.
- Plan major painting, stripping and refinishing projects for spring and fall to avoid summer heat and sun which react with vapors to create ozone pollution.
- Avoid use of flammable household products, such as some floor wax, furniture polish, fabric cleaners and insect foggers, all of which tend to have solvents.
PREVENTING OZONE Clean Air and Healthy Kids
Ground-level ozone pollution is an air quality concern. We encourage you to stay Alert this summer and when ozone pollution levels are high, it’s a great time to Chill and limit your outdoor activity in the heat of the day.
Ozone Pollution Affects Everybody.
- Especially the young, the elderly, and people with preexisting respiratory diseases such as asthma
- Even healthy people who spend a lot of time outdoors can be affected
- High ozone days can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, triggering an attack or increasing the need for an inhaler
Help Your Kids Breathe Easier.
- Kids spend 50% more time outdoors during the summer months than adults
- Children have a higher breathing rate, which means more ozone pollution being delivered to their lungs
- If your child has asthma, familiarize yourself with his/her asthma action plan and when to use an inhaler
- High exposure to ozone pollution can result in respiratory infections even in healthy children
- Limit outdoor activity for highly sensitive children on Ozone Level Notice days.
Be A Part of the Solution.
- Chill on hot summer days in the heat of the day
- Combine errands and reduce your driving
- Walk or bike to work and school when you can.
- Refuel your car in the evening and stop at the click
- Use new eco-friendly lawn equipment.