DEQ introduces air quality alert system by e-mail

Staff reports

The state Department of Enviromnental Quality is offering daily air quality reports by e-mail on a system called EnviroFlash.

The service arrives in time for Clean Air Month in May and the start of the “ozone season.” This is the time of year when air quality is most important because of the increase possibility of ozone formation on hot, dry summer days, the department said in a news release.

Those who subscribe to the serivce and provide basic information, such an e-mail address and ZIP code, will receive daily alerts with the local Air Quality Index forecasts, including when ozone or particle pollution is expected to be unhealthy.

Residents of the Baton Rouge area can sign up at http://Batonrougearea.enviroflash.info

“Hot weather increases the risk of elevated ozone levels,” said Peggy Hatch, DEQ Secretary. “Because higher ozone can have an impact on the public, we urge people to take advantage of the free EnviroFlash system. It’s a simple way to stay informed and take appropriate steps to protect your health.”

Ground level ozone forms when pollutants emitted by cars, industrial sources and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight. At ground level, ozone is a harmful air pollutant. During hot, sunny months, ozone becomes a greater concern. Hot, dry weather often means a higher chance of air pollution. EnviroFlash alerts can help people stay informed about air quality.

Further information on current air quality go to the DEQ Web site, www.deq.louisiana.gov and the interactive EPA Web site www.airnow.gov.