The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) has launched its seasonal Clean Air Campaign to encourage the two million residents of the region to do their share for cleaner air and reduce the amount of smog throughout the Tri-state area.
“Smog is an environmental concern that affects everyone,” said OKI Board President and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune. “It harms our health, our environment and has a significant effect on our economy. That is why it is important everybody recognizes the need to reduce air pollution to prevent smog and improve the region’s air quality.”
Smog is the term used to refer to the mixture of pollutants, primarily ground-level ozone and particulate matter, which forms a brownish haze in the atmosphere. Although smog is a year-round concern, it is particularly alarming during the summer due to the increased sunlight and higher temperatures. The heat and sunlight combine with everyday emissions from vehicles, industries, paints and gasoline fumes to create the ground-level ozone found in smog.
The chemicals found in smog can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function and damage the lining of the lung. Children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems are particularly sensitive to smog and could find difficulty breathing. Even healthy adults could be susceptible to health problems due to increased exposure to smog while participating in outdoor activities.
OKI recommends simple changes in daily routines in order to reduce the amount of smog in the atmosphere. These changes include carpooling, walking or riding a bike, refueling and using cars and gasoline powered lawn equipment after 8 p.m., maintaining vehicles, conserving electricity, limiting car idling, and spreading the clean air message to friends, family and coworkers. Residents can sign up to receive smog alert email notifications on days the concentrations of pollutants are expected to reach unhealthy levels.
“Becoming a clean air advocate is an easy and effective way to have a positive effect on the environment,” said OKI Executive Director Mark Policinski. “Simple changes in our daily lives can dramatically lower the harmful impacts of smog.”
For more information and to sign up for smog alert notifications, visit www.DoYourShare.org or call 1-800-621-SMOG. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/doyourshare and follow us on Twitter @okicleanair for air quality updates, additional tips to reduce air pollution and to find out how to participate in our Clean Air summer contests.