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    Louisiana, It’s Air Quality Awareness Month

    LCF Observes Air Quality Awareness Month

    The National Air Quality Awareness week runs from May 2 through May 6, however, Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed May as the Air Quality Awareness month for our state.  Whether it’s taking your bike to work or carpooling, you can do your part to help improve the local air quality and reduce your carbon footprint. 

    Last week, LCF's Executive Director Ann Shaneyfelt appeared on WBRZ's morning show with Vannetta, Environmental Scientist with DEQ and talked to viewers about Air Quality Awareness Week and how individuals can participate. View the interview on the WBRZ website.

    Why care about air quality?

    The overall quality of the air, or ozone, can affect your health if exposed to high levels.  Ozone levels usually rise with warmer temperatures, and higher levels can contribute to breathing problems such as increased asthma attacks.   Understanding what ozone is, how it forms and how it can affect your health is vital in the hot summer months.

    Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strengthened the air quality standard for our state from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb.  The updated standards will reduce exposure to ozone to improve the public’s overall health protection but particularly to at risk groups including children, older adults and people of all ages who have lung diseases. 

    While this standard calls for cleaner air and increased public health, it could create a halt in Louisiana’s industry development, affecting our economy.  It’s important that industry as well as the public work together to meet the designated air quality standard to protect our health and our economy. 

    How to get involved

    You can sign up to receive daily ozone forecast emails through the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s (LDEQ) EnviroFlash program. Additionally, EnviroFlash will notify you when an Ozone Action Day is announced.

    The public can also do their part by avoiding using lawnmowers or other lawn care equipment and fueling their car on ozone action days or waiting until late in the day to do so.  Avoid using VOC-based paint and using lighter fluid for barbequing on Ozone Action Days.  You can also minimize use of your vehicle by walking or biking, carpooling or by using public transit.

    For more information on air quality, please visit LDEQ’s website.

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