Environment

Summer Brings Air Quality Awareness

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Summer brings air quality vigilance in northwest Indiana, and Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), through its Northwest Indiana Clean Air partnership, is advising older residents specifically to be aware of air quality health effects.

NIRPC is asking residents to take the proper steps to promote healthy, clean air throughout Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties to avoid health hazards related to air pollution. NIRPC’s Director of Environmental Programs Kathy Luther says, “As we move to provide our senior citizens with optimum health and a premium standard of living, we must recognize the toll a hazardous environment poses and take the necessary steps to reduce harmful air pollution in Northwest Indiana.”

NIRPC reminds that as people age, bodies are less able to compensate for the effect of environmental hazards, so air pollution can aggravate conditions such as heart disease, stroke, lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, and diabetes. It says those effects can increase medication usage, health care visits, admissions to emergency rooms and even death. NIRPC says people should “take simple steps to ensure their safety during the ozone season, especially on Air Quality Action Days.
Tips for reducing exposure to particle pollution and ozone include:
• Check local news media for air quality forecasts or sign-up for air quality email alerts
• Limit outdoor activities and/or reduce activity when air quality is poor
• Avoid exercising near high-traffic roads, where particle levels are generally higher
• Protect yourself from exposure to particulate matter in wood smoke
• Restrict use of chemicals and paints that contain volatile organic compounds
Everyone plays a role in keeping our air clean all year-long. A few ways you can help include:
• Reducing vehicle idling
• Carpooling via PACE Rideshare or use public transportation
• Conserving energy in your home by turning off appliances and lights when not in use
• Limiting use of gas-powered lawn equipment until after 6 p.m.
• Refueling your vehicle after 6 p.m.”

Northwest Indiana Clean Air is a partnership between NIRPC and northwest Indiana’s people and businesses to help residents act to continue improving the air quality of the Region.

 

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