Friday, June 19, 2009

Air Quality & How You Can Help?

How Good is Your Air?

Health effects of ozone pollution. Did you know that 10 to 20 percent of all summertime respiratory-related hospital visits in some areas of the U.S. are associated with ozone pollution? Motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are major sources of ozone, which usually forms in hot weather. Ozone pollution can affect anyone who spends time outdoors in the summer, particularly children, the elderly, outdoor workers and people exercising. Repeated exposure to ozone pollution may cause permanent damage to the lungs. Even low ozone levels can trigger health problems in some people when it is inhaled; these can include chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion.

How Your Actions Can Help:

By making some fairly simple changes in your daily or weekly routine, you can help to clean the air. For instance:

  • Try taking an alternative form of transportation to work, such as a bus, train, bike, or even walking. This simple action can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1,500 pounds each year.

  • Look for the "Energy Star" label when you buy new appliances. Depending on the appliance, products with this label will consume between 13% and 40% less energy than conventional appliances.

  • Enroll in a green energy program. More and more utilities across the country are offering consumers the option of having some or all of their household or business energy purchased from renewable energy resources such as solar, wind and biomass.

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