Like many metropolitan areas, the Chicago area is no stranger to air pollution. That is why it is so important for residents to understand air pollution, where it comes from, how it can affect us, and, most importantly – what we can do to prevent it. So let’s start with the basics.
Know your air quality
When we breathe, we take in more than just air. On some days, there may be elevated levels of air pollution, specifically ozone and particulate matter, which change the outdoor air quality. Just like the weather, our air quality is forecasted every day. The daily air quality is assigned a category with a corresponding color. Also, there are actions we should take for each category.
The Chicago area does not currently meet federal health-based standards for ground-level ozone and particulate matter. When there is more air pollution in the air, this puts all of us – especially the elderly, children, people with respiratory or cardiovascular ailments, and even those who exercise outdoors – at risk. On days when particulate matter and/or ozone levels are elevated, people may notice themselves coughing, wheezing or finding it harder to breathe. But WE can change that by taking action to help improve Chicago’s air quality!
Lets take action now and start making a difference in our neighborhoods!