Partners For Clean Air
Partners for Clean Air is a coalition committed to improving air quality through voluntary actions. Along with over forty other businesses, municipalities, and organizations in Northwest Indiana, Indiana University Northwest is committed to "doing our part" to preserve air quality on Ozone Action Days. The chief goal of this voluntary program is to increase awareness about ozone and what we as individuals and an organization can do to reduce harmful emissions.
Ozone is a gas which, in the upper atmosphere, protects the earth from the sun's ultra-violet radiation but at ground level can adversely affect our health. Ozone has been classified by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as an air pollutant. Excessive ozone is unhealthy; particularly for children, the elderly, and people with asthma or other respiratory ailments because it makes breathing difficult. Other recognized side-effects of excessive exposure include headaches and eye irritation.
Ozone Action Days
Meteorologists from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan will work together throughout the ozone season to determine when high ozone days are likely (lots of sun, low wind speeds, high temperatures). When they call an Ozone Action Day, Indiana University Northwest will be alerted along with other Partners and the local media. In turn, the campus representative will keep in contact with the University community via e-mail and the internet.
Steps You Can Take On Ozone Action Days!
Summer smog affects us all. When Ozone Action Days are declared, ozone, the main component of smog, can reach health-threatening levels. Here are some actions we can take to help clean the air on Ozone Action Days, and throughout the summer season.
- Limit driving whenever possible! Use public transit, carpool, walk, or ride a bike instead of driving.
- Do not refuel on an Ozone Action Day! However, if you must refuel, do so after 7 p.m.
- Do not idle! Idling for just 30 seconds uses more fuel than stopping and starting your engine.
- Avoid drive-thru windows and congested areas to save fuel and time, and to reduce stress!
- Put off using any gas-powered vehicles or tools! Small engines are a significant source of air pollution.
- Get regular tune-ups and keep the right amount of air in the tires. Well maintained vehicles pollute less.
- Take your lunch to work to reduce lunchtime trips, and combine errands to reduce miles driven.
- Avoid using aerosol products, such as cleaners, paint, and hair spray on Ozone Action Days.
- When you barbecue, start the charcoal with an electric or chimney-type fire starter instead of lighter fluid.
- Avoid using oil-based paints, solvents, or varnishes on Ozone Action Days.
- Conserve energy in your home, which improves air quality by reducing energy needs.
Remember, these tips help clean our air everyday and they save energy, which saves you money!
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