Air Quality Alert Issued for May 1 in Central Ohio

April 30, 2018
Air Pollution Levels Expected to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is issuing an Air Quality Alert for Tuesday, May 1. The region – Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Madison, and Licking counties – is likely to experience ground-level ozone pollution levels that are Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups on the national Air Quality Index (AQI) scale. Tuesday’s AQI is forecasted to be 101.

Warmer temperatures and sunny skies will enhance ozone formation, and calm to light southwesterly winds will inhibit dispersion and transport regional pollutants into the area. Furthermore, pollutant carryover from the previous day will be high. These conditions will lead to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI levels. This is the first alert in 2018.

MORPC uses the national AQI scale to inform the public about daily ozone and particle pollution levels in Central Ohio. The AQI scale runs from 0-500 – the higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern. When levels reach above 100, air quality is considered to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups and MORPC issues an Air Quality Alert to the public.

Active children, the elderly, and people with asthma and COPD are more likely to suffer an increase in the number and severity of symptoms during an Air Quality Alert. To decrease the potential for health issues, sensitive groups of people are urged to limit prolonged outdoor activity or plan outdoor activities for the morning. Those who are experiencing breathing difficulties should consult with their doctor. Information on the health effects of ozone pollution is available at Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health.

Air Quality Awareness Week is April 30th through May 4th. Follow MORPC on Facebook and Twitter for a new tip on how to improve air quality and protect your health each day during Air Quality Awareness Week. Share these posts to improve air quality awareness and the health of communities in Central Ohio. For information about transportation options to improve air quality, visit or contact MORPC at 1.888.742.RIDE (7433) for more information. When everyone pitches in, our communities breathe better air.

  • Explore your commute options with Gohio Commute.
  • Turn off your engine instead of idling your vehicle to cut down on vehicle emissions.
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle, or wait until dusk to refuel your vehicle. Filling up your tank when the daytime heat has diminished helps to reduce harmful ground-level ozone pollution.
  • Avoid topping off your tank at the gas station. Spilled gasoline pollutes the air when it evaporates.
  • Avoid mowing your lawn on an Air Quality Alert day. Longer grass in your yard is good for the air, as well as the lawn.

Visit for more information about MORPC’s Air Quality Program. Call MORPC’s toll-free hotline for the latest air quality forecast at 1-888-666-1009. English and Spanish options are available.

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