A “code orange ” air quality alert for the Liberty/Clairton area has been issued by The
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, for Monday.
What does a “code orange” mean?
When the air pollution concentrations within a region has become unhealthy for
sensitive groups such as children, pregnant ladies, the elderly, and people suffering
from asthma, heart disease, or other lung diseases, such a situation is described as
a “code orange”
These groups of people are recommended by the EPA to reduce prolonged or
excessive outdoor activities and exposure. Less intense activities must be planned
for and more breaks must be taken, also outdoor activities are recommended to be
done in the morning, as during that time the ozone layer tends to be lower.
Symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath must be watched out for
.Code Orange Air Quality Action Days for ozone from Saturday through Monday has
been forecasted by the DEP on Friday.
Counties like Allegheny, Butler, Beaver, Armstrong, Washington, Westmoreland, and
Fayette, fall into the list of affected areas.
Sunday's forecast: An air quality action day will be declared for Sunday! Ozone
levels are expected to move into the code ORANGE range with more sunlight than
clouds, and only isolated afternoon convection. With a relative humidity increase,
fine particles will also go under moderation. Monday's forecast: Monday is supposed
to bring the poorest air quality day while talking about ozone, so this will call for yet
another action day with respect to ozone. Again, convection in the afternoon will not
be enough to keep ozone out of the code ORANGE range. Extended forecast: By
Tuesday, lower ozone levels can be expected with an approaching cold front
bringing a better chance for thunderstorms in the late afternoon out ahead of it.
Plenty of clouds and perhaps a shower then can linger into Wednesday, before high
pressure clears things out late Wednesday into Thursday with temperatures a bit
cooler and reduced relative humidity.
What is an Action day?
Days when the Air Quality Index gets into the unhealthy ranges, action days are
usually called up. They are called up by different air pollution control agencies, at
different levels. In certain places, action days are called when the AQI is forecast to
be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, or Code Orange, just like happening in
Pennsylvania this week. In such a case, the groups that are sensitive to the pollutant
should reduce exposure by reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exposure. For
ozone this includes: children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with
lung disease, such as asthma. For particle pollution this includes: people with heart
or lung disease, older adults and children. Occasionally, an action day is
declared when the Air Quality Index is Moderate, or often Code Yellow, if the levels
are expected to approach Code Orange levels.
Action days in several places are called when the AQI is forecast to be Unhealthy, or
Code Red. In such a case, everyone should reduce exposure to air pollution, but
especially the members of the sensitive group for the particular pollutant.