DENVER (KDVR) – The summer months don’t only bring hot temperatures to the Front Range, they also bring with them a heavy impact on Colorado’s air quality.
Although there have been times that wildfire smoke causes poor air quality from local or neighboring-state wildfires, the ground-level ozone has been the main culprit of air quality warnings issued throughout the summer.
Ozone at ground level is also known as “bad ozone.” It is created by a chemical reaction involving emissions, sunlight and heat.
The reason air quality is typically worse on the Front Range in the summer is that sunlight and hot temperatures are needed to create ozone.
Ozone is dangerous at the surface because it can cause a variety of health problems including impacts on breathing and the lungs. People with asthma, children, and adults over 60 are the most at risk.
There are several ways to help reduce ozone levels on a day when an ozone action alert or air quality warning is in place. The easiest way to help is by reducing emissions.
Ways to help reduce ozone:
- Try to make fewer car trips in a week. Try carpooling with a coworker or pick one day to run all of your errands for the week.
- Walk or ride your bike for errands or to get to school or work.
- Work from home if you can, even if it’s just one day a week.
- Mow after 5 p.m.
- Get gas for your car after 5 p.m.
- Avoid idling in your car. Turn off your car if you are stopped for more than a minute.
- Take public transportation.
- Switch to an electric vehicle.
You can find more on how to help improve air quality here.