Code Orange Air Quality Alert for ozone pollution issued for June 6 in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

Screenshot of the Air Quality Index Code Orange for June 6, 2018.

According to the Jefferson County Department of Health, the  air quality in the Birmingham area is expected to be unhealthy for some sensitive groups today, Wednesday, June 6th.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management issued the  “Code Orange” air quality alert Tuesday afternoon for ozone pollution.

A “Code Orange” is categorized as a “Unhealthy.”  Health officials recommend  active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

These groups may experience coughing or shortness of breath. ADEM  and the Jefferson County Department of Health recommend scheduling outdoor activities in the morning when ozone levels are lower.

On “Code Orange” High Ozone Days, please follow the following tips to Reduce Pollution:
  • Choose a cleaner commute – share a ride to work or use public transportation.
  • Combine errands and reduce trips. Walk to errands when possible.
  • Avoid excessive idling of your automobile.
  • Refuel your car in the evening when its cooler.
  • Conserve electricity and set air conditioners no lower than 78 degrees.
  • Defer lawn and gardening chores that use gasoline-powered equipment, or wait until evening.

During the summer when ozone pollution is most prevalent, here are daily “tips” that you can do to reduce air pollution in the Birmingham metro area.

  • Conserve energy – at home, at work, everywhere.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
  • Carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk whenever possible.
  • Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery, being careful not to spill fuel and always tightening your gas cap securely.
  • Consider purchasing portable gasoline containers labeled “spill-proof,” where available.
  • Keep car, boat, and other engines properly tuned.
  • Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
  • Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.
  • Consider using gas logs instead of wood.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.