Forecasters predict unhealthy air in Bham on Monday. Here is a list of ways to reduce air pollution.

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Birmingham Skyline
Birmingham skyline. Photo via Jon Eastwood for BhamNow.

According to the Jefferson County Department of Health ozone air pollution in the Birmingham metro area is expected to be unhealthy for some sensitive groups on Monday, May 24th.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management issued a  “Code Orange” air quality alert Sunday afternoon.

A “Code Orange” forecast means conditions are ripe for an  “unhealthy” ozone air quality event.   Health officials recommend children, adults, and people with lung disease reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors. These groups may also experience coughing or shortness of breath.

Ozone air pollution is caused when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight. Ozone is most likely to reach unhealthy levels in cities on hot sunny days and days when the wind is stagnant.

You Can Help Reduce Ozone Air Pollution

 Even though a “bad” air day is in the forecast, residents of Jefferson and Shelby counties can help reduce ozone air pollution.

Alabama Partners for Clean Air and Jefferson County Department Health encourage residents to do their part to take the following steps to diminish ozone air pollution in our community.

6 simple tips:

One way you can reduce air pollution is by taking the Magic City Connector between Birmingham and Homewood. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now
  • Carpool or take the bus
  • Combine errands today into one trip.  Avoid unnecessary travel. Telecommute if possible. Ride your bike or walk to lunch today if possible.
  • Limit idling, avoid drive-thrus if possible. During school and summer camp pickup reduce idling if possible
  • Mow the lawn another day
  • Don’t fill your gas tank until after 6:00pm
  • Conserve energy – Raise the temperature on your thermostat, especially during the day when you are not home

Do your part

Do your part for clean air today.  If we all enact just one of these items we will help make the air healthier for our most vulnerable citizens in the Birmingham metro area.

Be a part of the solution. Visit the Alabama Partners for Clean Air website, sign up for alerts and get involved.


  • 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.