Air Quality Alert Issued for Aug. 4 in Central Ohio

    August 3, 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 Saturday, Aug. 4. 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. Monday’s AQI is forecasted to be 101.

    Sunny skies and temperatures near 90 degrees will enhance ozone formation, and an upper-level ridge of high pressure will inhibit vertical mixing. In addition, calm to light southwesterly winds will gradually transport regional pollutants into the area. These conditions will lead to Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI levels.

    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. More information on the health effects of ozone pollution is available from Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health.

    On Air Quality Alert days, MORPC recommends taking actions to improve air quality. For those heading out this holiday weekend to events like Memorial Day parades, MORPC recommends carpooling, combining trips, riding COTA, and bicycling or walking. More information about transportation options can be found online at 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 water quality.

    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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