An Air Quality Alert has been issued for Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, with a Code Orange forecast, which means the air quality may be unhealthy for sensitive groups.
This is the Triad’s first Code Orange forecast of the year, calling for elevated concentrations of ozone and particle pollution in the air. This can be a particular health concern for children, teens, older adults, outdoor workers and athletes, people with heart or lung disease, and people with other health impairments. People don’t have to stay indoors, but are encouraged to minimize their outdoor exertion and activity while outside.
They’re also encouraged to do activities to reduce pollution like carpooling or taking the bus, reducing energy use, skipping the drive-thru lane, refueling cars later in the evening and postponing lawn mowing until late evening.
“Try to limit your time outdoors and try to do whatever you can to not add to the current pollution outdoors,” said Jordan Payne, Senior Environmental Specialist with Forsyth County’s Environmental Assistance and Protection (EAP) Department
Open burning is banned on any days when the air quality forecast is Code Orange or worse. Burning trash and other non-vegetative material is always prohibited. The forecast area includes Forsyth, Guilford, Alamance, Randolph, Davie, Davidson, Stokes, Rockingham, Caswell and Surry.
Forsyth County EAP posts daily Air Quality Reports for the Triad regularly at http://www.forsyth.cc/EAP/dailyforecast.aspx. It also posts them on Facebook (@TriadAirAwareness) and Twitter (@AirAwareness).
Air quality has greatly improved over the years in the Triad, and there were only three Code Orange days in the area last year.
Particle pollution is when solid particles mix with liquid droplets in the air. Ozone is formed from chemical reactions when nitrogen oxides, which are found in emissions, and volatile organic compounds are exposed to sunlight. Weather conditions, including heat, low winds and lack of precipitation, can aid in the increased concentrations of these pollutants in the air.