INDIANAPOLIS-The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability is issuing a Knozone Action Day for tomorrow, Saturday, June 3 as hot, sunny weather continues with light winds, creating potentially unhealthy ground-level amounts of ozone. Ground-level ozone is the primary contributor to smog in urban areas. Smog is formed when harmful emissions from sources like cars and lawnmowers react with heat and sunlight. This will be the fifth Knozone Action Day for 2023.
ToÂ protect residents andÂ local air quality, the Office of Sustainability issues Knozone Action Days when ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) levels rise above certain thresholds. During Knozone ActionÂ Days, the air quality may become unhealthy for sensitive individuals. These vulnerableÂ groups,Â especially active children, the elderly, and anyone pregnant or suffering from asthma, lung disease, COVID-19, or other serious health problems, should avoid spending much time outdoors.
Air pollutants like ozone and particulate matter pose a public health and environmental justice issue as they can cause increased hospitalizations, asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and premature death, according to the American Public Health Association. 10.9% of Indianapolis residents live with asthma, and 8.6% of Indianapolis residents live with COPD; both these figures are higher than the national average.
Every day, and especially on Knozone Action Days, residents are encouraged to reduce their contribution to ground-level ozone through these simple actions:
- Avoid vehicle idling, including when in drive-thru lanes or picking up carry-out
- Use active forms of transportation like walking or biking
- Utilize public transportation or carpool with services such asÂ IndyGoÂ orÂ Commuter Connect
- Wait to refuel and mow until after 7 p.m.
- Combine errands to reduce number of trips
- Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above
- Delay use of garden, household, and workshop chemicals until air has returned to healthy levels
- Never burn trash. Burning trash is illegal in Marion County, and the rules and regulations for open burning are available on the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services' website:Â indy.gov/BNS