The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone Alert for Tulsa on Saturday.
Ozone Alerts are a prediction that concentrations of ozone in the lower atmosphere will approach levels of concern.
Ozone pollution is more likely to form during the warmer months. Ozone forms when the pollutants near the ground from sources such as cars, power plants, refineries and chemical plants react chemically to sunlight, according to the Tulsa Air Quality website.
“Unhealthy levels of ozone can cause irritation, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection and aggravation of asthma and other respiratory ailments,” according to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
According to the department, residents are urged to reduce exposure and help avoid ozone formation by limiting outdoor activity to morning hours, waiting until later in the day to refuel automobiles or mow lawns, carpooling and riding the bus. Additionally, the department recommends that people avoid rush-hour traffic, drive their most fuel-efficient vehicles and limit idling time in vehicles.
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In 2022 there were seven Ozone Alert days, according to the Tulsa Air Quality website. All of the alerts occurred during June and July.
This alert is the first Ozone Alert of the year.
To receive Air Quality Health Advisory emails, sign-up at deq.ok.gov/air-quality-division/sign-up-for-air-quality-notifications.