Air quality alert for SETX on Monday

Air quality alert for SETX on Monday

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issued an Ozone Action Day for the Beaumont-Port Arthur area for Monday, May 7, warning residents to be aware of the dangers associated with the event.

According to the TCEQ, Ozone Action Days are called when atmospheric conditions are expected to be favorable for producing high levels of ozone air pollution. Reports from the agency are that the Beaumont-Port Arthur area was of a level that necessitated the Ozone Action Day on Monday as the emission levels could prove a dangerous and unhealthy for sensitive groups. Tuesday and Wednesday, the air quality for Southeast Texas is forecast for “moderate;” with the outlook “good” by Thursday.

“The biggest concern with high ozone concentration is the damage it causes to human health, vegetation, and to many common materials we use,” Deanna Altenhoff, Executive Director of CLEAN AIR Force of Central Texas, offers on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund. “High concentrations of ozone can cause shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, and lung damage. People who suffer from lung diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema, asthma, and colds have even more trouble breathing when the air is polluted. These effects can be worse in anyone who spends significant periods of time exercising or working outdoors.”

The office of South East Texas Regional Planning Commission’s Bob Dickinson reports that efforts to diminish contribution to ozone pollution include, “sharing a ride, walking or riding a bicycle, taking your lunch to work, avoiding drive-through lanes, conserving energy, and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.”