MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department has issued a "Code Orange" air quality advisory on Monday, May 15, for ozone for the Memphis Metropolitan Area.
The advisory was issued in response to an expected monitored exceedance of the eight-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS.)
The Memphis Metropolitan Area includes Shelby County, Tennessee, Crittenden County, Arkansas, and DeSoto County, Mississippi.
Under existing Air Quality Index guidelines, current air quality throughout the Memphis Metropolitan Area has become "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" and is expected to remain so until after sunset Monday.
Pollution emissions, a stagnant atmosphere, clear skies, and high temperatures are the primary factors responsible for Monday afternoon's expected poor air quality.
There will also be MATA discounts on bus or trolley rides on Monday.
Active adults and children, as well as people with respiratory difficulties, are urged to take the following health precautions:
- Limit prolonged outdoor activities during afternoon hours
- High ozone levels can cause nose, eye, throat, and lung irritation
- High ozone levels can aggravate existing conditions and lead to increased potential for illness in this sensitive group
Additionally, the following ozone reduction tips are recommended during Code Orange Ozone Advisories:
- Refuel cars and lawnmowers after 7 p.m., avoid spills and do not “top off” tanks
- Carpool or mass transit
- Combine errands instead of many separate trips
- Drive less, especially during peak hours or hot days
For more information concerning air quality, contact one of the following:
SCHD Pollution Control Program at (901) 222-9599.
The Arkansas Department of Health at (501) 661-2000.
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality-Air Standards and Planning-Air Quality at (601) 961-5134.