Portions of Pennsylvania affected by code orange air quality

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On Thursday, July 13, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection took a significant step in addressing environmental concerns by issuing a code orange air quality alert. This alert encompasses several counties, namely Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, and York.

As per the information provided by airnow.gov, the air quality alert is not attributable to wildfire smoke but rather pertains to the prevalence of high concentrations of ozone near the surface. Throughout Thursday, ozone formation is expected to persist close to ground level, resulting in moderate concentrations across most locations.

Portions of Pennsylvania affected by code orange air quality

People fish on the Susquehanna River amidst haze from Canadian wildfires, Thursday, June 29, 2023, in Harrisburg, Pa

It is crucial to recognize that high levels of ozone can pose a threat to certain individuals, particularly those who are susceptible to air pollution. Consequently, residents may experience various symptoms such as coughing, discomfort while inhaling deeply, irritation of the lungs and throat, and difficulties in breathing during outdoor physical activities.

The issuance of a code orange air quality alert signifies that air pollution concentrations within the region may reach levels that are deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups. To mitigate the adverse effects of air pollution, individuals are advised to refrain from engaging in strenuous activities or exercising outdoors.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has acknowledged that elevated ozone levels will persist on Thursday. However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, as a possibility of afternoon and evening thunderstorms arises on Friday and extends into the weekend. These anticipated weather patterns are expected to contribute to a reduction in ozone concentrations, fostering a healthier environment.

It is important to note that the air quality alert will remain in effect until midnight on Friday, July 14. During this period, it is crucial for residents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to safeguard their well-being and minimize the impact of air pollution.

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