The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality warning. The Air Quality Health Advisory is in effect for Western New York and New York City for today, Friday, July 1, 2022. It will remain in effect until 11 pm tonight. The pollutant of concern is ozone.

The Air Quality Health Advisory is for Region 8 - Western New York, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Wyoming, Genesee, Niagara, and Orleans counties, and Region 2 - New York City Metro, which includes New York City, Rockland, and Westchester counties.

What Is Ozone?

Summer heat can lead to the formation of 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. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.

The levels of ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to surpass an Air Quality Index value of 100. The higher the AQI the greater the health concern.

The people most at risk from ozone are:

- young children
- people exercise outdoors
- those who work outside
- people who have respiratory diseases (such as asthma)

Outdoor levels of ozone are elevated more in the afternoon. Heading inside during the high levels will reduce a person's exposure.

Individuals experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing should consider consulting their doctor.

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