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Ozone Action Days to continue this week in parts of Michigan

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Meteorologists are calling for a series of Ozone Action Days in Southeast Michigan starting Tuesday.

Residents are encouraged to delay fueling their cars and using gas-powered equipment. Experts say the best time to refuel is in the evening, after the heat of the day. That's because hot summer temperatures can combine with pollution to create ground-level ozone.

At stratospheric levels, ozone is beneficial because it protects the earth from ultraviolet radiation. At ground level, ozone can trigger or worsen a variety of health problems.

Jim Haywood, a senior meteorologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, explained that Ozone Action Days are both used to inform residents about actions they can take to reduce the formation of ozone, and serve as health advisories.

“If you are asthmatic or you have some sort of other respiratory health ailment, this is a message to you to not get out and exert yourself,” Haywood said.

Children and elderly people are also at risk during Ozone Action Days.

Haywood encouraged Michigan residents to use the website EnviroFlash to get up-to-date information about the state's air quality.

Ozone Action Days in Southeast Michigan will likely continue the rest of the week, or until there is a cold front, he said.

“This is very unusual. That's why a lot of times we say once we get into an episode, nothings going to change, we're probably going to get worse air everyday until a cold front comes through and just cleans everything out.”

There's also a Clean Air Action Day in effect in West Michigan Tuesday and Wednesday.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
Toussaint joined Michigan Radio in June 2022 as a newsroom intern and is currently working in his second summer. He is a senior at Howard University in Washington, D.C., majoring in journalism and minoring in Afro-American Studies.
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