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Take precautions on ozone alert days

Kansas City recorded its first ozone alert day on May 18, one of the earliest days in recent history. With the potential for more, here’s what you need to know.

When ozone pollution is high, the air is unhealthy. The Mid-America Regional Council advises you to take these steps to protect your health and reduce pollution

Protect your health:

  • Reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. Ozone pollution can cause wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Reduce outdoor activities or schedule them before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
  • If you have breathing or heart problems, keep medicines close by, and check on others who may have similar conditions. People with health problems may be more affected by ozone pollution than others.

Reduce pollution:

  • Carpool, bike or use public transit. Bus fares on all regular Kansas City Area Transit Authority routes are reduced to 75 cents on ozone alert days.
  • Avoid mowing or using other gas-powered garden equipment. In one hour, a gas-powered push mower emits as much pollution as driving a newer car 140 miles.
  • Avoid refueling your car. If you must refuel, wait until after 7 p.m. This allows fumes to dissipate overnight, making it less likely that they will contribute to ozone pollution the following day.

For more pollution-reducing tips, visit

Photo: Flickr / CC


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