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Higher Temperatures May Impact Air Quality

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 | 07:00pm

Nashville, June 14, 2006As temperatures rise, so does the amount of time Tennesseans spend outdoors. While warmer weather encourages many to get outdoors and be more physically active, the Tennessee Department of Health recommends people also become aware of the air quality forecasts in their area so they can take the recommended precautions to protect their health. 

Air quality forecasts are available from EnviroFlash and through local media.  Enviroflash is a program sponsored by the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that provides important air quality information such as forecasts and action day notifications via email or pager notification. Local media often provide air quality forecasts using the Air Quality Index (AQI). These forecasts provide guidance on how to take precautions that help protect your health.

Air Quality Index (AQI)

Air Quality

AQI Values

Actions to take

Lower air quality levels can pose a health hazard, irritating the respiratory system and making breathing more difficult, especially for those with asthma and respiratory disease who may be more sensitive to allergy and asthma attacks when air quality is poor. Children, who often spend more time outdoors, can also be sensitive. These groups may want to limit outdoor exercise when air quality levels are poor, especially in late afternoons and early evenings. Consider adaptations to your routine that allow you to still be active, such as walking instead of jogging or jogging for half your usual time. Check air quality forecasts regularly to keep informed. 

“Everyone can contribute to keeping Tennessee’s air clean” said Department of Health Epidemiologist and Health Educator Susan Miller. “Try combining errands into one trip and consider carpooling, taking the bus, walking or biking instead of using your car.”

For more information about air quality and/or to sign up for EnviroFlash, visit Clean Air Tennessee’s website at

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