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Allegheny County Health Department Issues Air Quality Update, Announces Ozone Exceedances

The Allegheny County Health Department on Tuesday issued an air quality update through the county’s Alert system indicating that preliminary data show that three ozone monitors in the county – Harrison, Lawrenceville, and South Fayette – experienced exeedances of the eight-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The eight-hour standard is .070 parts per million (ppm). Harrison registered .074 ppm and both Lawrenceville and South Fayette registered .071 ppm. This is the first exceedance at a county ozone monitor since July 10, 2018. There were no such exceedances in 2019, according to ACHD.

“Ozone is overwhelmingly weather dependent, and exceedances are likely during periods of high temperatures and no precipitation, which we’ve had across the region over the past week. Given the current forecast there may be additional ozone exceedances this week,” ACHD officials wrote in the Alert.

They continued:

“Higher concentrations of ozone may cause breathing problems for the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with heart or respiratory disease. We encourage residents to view our Air Quality Dashboard for the latest ozone levels and remind the public to protect themselves and to help reduce air pollution by voluntarily limiting pollution-producing activities.”

Those activities include:

• Limit daytime driving. Combine trips when possible.
• Don’t refuel. If you must, do so after 7 p.m.
• Postpone mowing the lawn until after 7 p.m.
• Save energy. Wash dishes and clothes with full loads.
• Keep window shades/blinds closed during the day to cut down on air conditioning.

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