The level of ozone Thursday in Fort Wayne and Allen County has been forecast to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, according to the county health department.
The department offers the following advice:
*Active children and adults, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease should limit or avoid prolonged outdoor exertion while an Air Quality Action Day for ozone is in effect.
*If breathing becomes difficult, go indoors and contact your health care provider.
Ground level ozone is formed when a mixture of air pollutants are cooked in the sunlight. Weather conditions used in forecasting levels of ground-level ozone include amount of sunshine, temperature, wind direction and humidity. Even at low levels, breathing ground-level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems for people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
To reduce ozone levels, the health department recommends that residents should:
*Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation
*Avoid using drive-throughs, combine errands into one trip, and turn off the engine when idling for more than 10 seconds
*Maintain proper air pressure in tires
*Delay lawn mowing or vehicle refueling until after 7 p.m.
*Conserve electricity by turning off lights and computers when not in use
For more information on ozone, visit the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Smog Watch website at www.in.gov/apps/idem/smog or call 1-800-631-2871. For more air-quality action steps, visit the Clean Air Force at www.thecleanairforce.org.