File photo: Peter Blasl

Environmental and health officials have issued an air quality health advisory for Long Island and the New York City metro region tomorrow.

Ground-level ozone is expected to reach levels considered unhealthy for
young children, people who exercise outdoors or are involved in vigorous outdoor work and people who have respiratory disease (such as asthma), according to the state and county health commissioners. People should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest — generally afternoon to early evening.

The advisory is in effect tomorrow, July 10, from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog, officials said in a press release. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground-level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere, the release stated.

Ozone levels generally decrease at night and can be minimized during daylight hours by curtailment of automobile travel and the use of public transportation where available.

  • New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy-saving and pollution-reducing steps:
  • use mass transit or carpool instead of driving, as automobile emissions account for about 60 percent of pollution in our cities;
  • conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips;
  • turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas;
  • use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees;
  • close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air;
  • limit use of household appliances. If necessary, run the appliances at off-peak (after 7 p.m.) hours. These would include dishwashers, dryers, pool pumps and water heaters;
  • set refrigerators and freezers at more efficient temperatures;
  • purchase and install energy efficient lighting and appliances with the Energy Star label; and
  • reduce or eliminate outdoor burning and attempt to minimize indoor sources of particulate matter, such as smoking.

A toll-free air quality hotline (1-800-535-1345) has been established by the State Department of Environmental Conservation to keep New Yorkers informed of the latest air quality situation.

The Wednesday, July 10, air quality health advisory regions consists of the following: Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York City and Rockland and Westchester counties.

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