Poor air quality expected today state urges caution

July 18, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The state urged residents of the Baltimore region to take precautions today because air quality is expected to approach unhealthful levels.

The air quality yesterday was moderate, with an index reading at 4 p.m. of 71 for ground-level ozone. The air is declared "Code Orange," or approaching unhealthful levels, when the ozone readings are 89-99. It is "Code Red," or harmful, when the index reaches 100 or above.

This summer, the index has registered over 100 on July 8, July 6 and June 22, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Ground-level ozone, or smog, forms when hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides react under strong sunlight. Because smog can cause lung damage and eye irritation, children and the elderly should spend more time inside; others should limit outdoor exercise on days when the state urges caution.

Residents and companies are asked to alter activities to prevent pollution. The state recommends driving less and not running gasoline-powered equipment.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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