PRINCETON — Southwest Indiana counties remain under an air quality alert for high ozone levels Friday.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management issued the alert for Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.

The agency appealed to the public to help reduce ozone while remaining safe during the COVID-19 health crisis by making changes to daily habits.

Suggestions include:

• Walk, bike, or work from home when possible

• Combine errands into one trip

• Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.

• Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds (at a bank or restaurant drive-through)

• Conserve energy by turning off lights or setting the air conditioner to 75 degrees or above

Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors, according to IDEM.

The agency examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties.

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

— Email Andrea Howe at andrea@pdclarion.com

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