An Air Quality Advisory is issued by the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency (Agency) between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. the day before high ozone and/or high particulate matter levels are anticipated.
Each morning, beginning March 1 through October 31, staff members retrieve and review data and weather forecast information. If unhealthy levels of ozone or particulate matter are expected, a conference call is scheduled by the Agency, in cooperation with local meteorologists and the National Weather Service, to determine if conditions are favorable to issue an Air Quality Advisory. If the data indicates that ozone or particulate matter may reach or exceed an Air Quality Index of 105, an Air Quality Advisory is issued.
When an Air Quality Advisory is issued, active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exposure.
Air Quality Advisories may also be a problem in the winter, not just the summer, due to high PM levels. Wintertime open burning and warming up cars, combined with weather inversions, can make PM-based winter Air Quality Advisories a reality for Southwest Ohio residents.
Precautions to take during an Air Quality Advisory
Active children and adults, and people with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.
On Air Quality Advisory days, you can help reduce air pollution by taking the following actions:
- Take the bus, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving
- Refuel your vehicle after 8 p.m.; do not top off when refueling and tighten the gas cap
- Do not idle your vehicle
- Combine trips or eliminate unnecessary vehicle trips
- Keep your vehicle maintained with properly inflated tires and timely oil changes
- Avoid use of gasoline-powered lawn equipment on Air Quality Advisory days
- Avoid use of oil-based paints and stains on Air Quality Advisory days
- Never burn leaves or other yard trimmings
- Always burn clean, seasoned wood in outdoor fire pits, fireplaces and wood stoves
- Avoid using fire pits or fireplaces for non-essential home heating on Air Quality Advisory days
- Conserve electricity
We all have a role to play in our region’s air quality. Governments, organizations and businesses are being asked to reduce emissions and conserve energy during an Air Quality Advisory.
- Put an air quality business plan in place. This puts our individual actions together to make an impact on a larger scale. Organizations are encouraged to have a written plan in place stating actions they will take on an Air Quality Advisory day. Download a sample air quality business plan.
- Share air quality information with your residents/employees/customers.
Download the Air Quality Advisory Communication Toolkit.