Cleveland, Ohio - What Affects Your Air Quality?
Air quality where you live can vary depending on how much air pollution is emitted in your community, how much pollution is carried into your community on the wind, and by weather conditions.
Ozone forms when two key pollutants, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) "cook in the sun." These pollutants are precursors to ozone formation, meaning they must be present in the air for ozone to form. Particle pollution can be directly emitted (like smoke from a woodstove), but a lot of particles form when gases react in the air. NOx and sulfur dioxides (SO2) contribute to particle formation.
These ozone and particle-forming pollutants come from a wide variety of sources, including cars, trucks, buses, construction equipment, recreational boats, power plants, and industries. Natural sources also contribute: wildfires contribute to particle pollution, while trees and other vegetation can contribute both to particle and ozone pollution.
Weather plays a big role in the levels of ozone and particle pollution in your community. Sunlight and heat, for example, promote ozone formation. Light winds and temperature inversions both can keep pollution from dispersing. And depending on its direction, the wind can bring in more pollution - sometimes from hundreds of miles away. Geography can affect pollution levels too; river valleys, such as those in Cleveland's Flats Industrial area, can prevent pollution from dispersing.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and its local air agency partners are celebrating National Air Quality Awareness Week with the kick off of the 13th season of Ozone Action Day Program.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service are jointly sponsoring Air Quality Awareness Week. More information can be found by visiting http://www.noaca.org or http://www.epa.gov/airnow/airaware/airaware.html
NOACA and its partners, including:
are increasing public awareness of air pollution and its health effects during national Air Quality Awareness Week. NOACA will be issuing a press release each day during this week of celebration focused upon the national schedule of topics:
Monday: Ozone and Particle Pollution
Tuesday: What Causes Poor Air Quality
Wednesday: Keeping Your Lungs and Heart Safe
Thursday: What are Air Quality Forecasts?
Friday: What Can You Do to Help Make the Air Cleaner?
NOACA's Ozone Action Day and Fine Particle Pollution Programs always encourage residents in Northeast Ohio to remember to "CHECK Today's Air Quality" online and to sign-up to receive free email notification when air pollution has reached unhealthy levels.
The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) is an association of state, county, city, village, and township public officials that works to address current and future transportation, air quality, and water quality needs in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, and Medina counties. NOACA and its partners cooperatively develop and implement plans to ensure that travel throughout the region is safe, cost-effective and environmentally sound.