On Monday, April 29, we will kick off Air Quality Awareness Week to educate Georgians about the health effects of air pollution and the meaningful actions they can take to improve outdoor air quality.
The onset of warmer weather that traditionally arrives in May and lasts through September, combined with high humidity and stagnant winds, creates ideal conditions for smog, which is made up of ground-level ozone and particle pollution. Air Quality Awareness Week is a reminder that there are simple, voluntary actions residents and workplaces can take to make an immediate impact on the air we all breathe.
Although the frequency of unhealthy ozone concentrations has been declining in Georgia, population growth has put more demand on energy use and more cars on the roads. With half of smog-forming emissions in many areas of Georgia coming from vehicle tailpipes, it’s up to all Georgians to take charge to reduce poor air quality.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) measures air pollution throughout the state and issues daily air quality forecasts for Atlanta, Macon and Columbus. To protect public health, The Clean Air Campaign distributes Smog Alerts via email when the EPD predicts the next day’s air quality to be unhealthy.
Here are a few easy ways you can make a difference:
- Sign up for Smog Alerts via CleanAirCampaign.org so you can plan accordingly when air quality is forecasted to be poor.
- Commit to carpooling, vanpooling, riding your bike, walking or riding transit to your job. Ask your boss for permission to telework to avoid traffic altogether.
- Call 1-877-9-GA-OPTIONS or visit GACommuteOptions.com to get help starting a commute options program at your workplace. You can also receive free assistance finding a carpool or vanpool partner.