File photo: Peter Blasl

An air quality health advisory is in effect today for Long Island, the New York City metro region and the Lower Hudson Valley.

The advisory will be in effect 11 a.m. through 11 p.m.

The pollutant of concern is ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog. 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.

A heat advisory is also in effect for our region today from noon to 8 p.m. Heat index values are forecast to be about 100 and in the mid-90s across the twin forks.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Department of Health issue air quality health advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value indicating a greater health concern.

The AQI is forecast to reach 110 today for Long Island and 120 for New York City.

People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure. Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

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