Air Quality Health Alert

By Brian Alonzo

Air Quality Health Alerts are issued when weather conditions are expected to be favorable for the development of high levels of ozone pollution. They typically occur when our winds come out of the east or northeast. At the same time the winds have to be light, anywhere from calm to about 5 mph. Some of the pollution we get comes from the other larger cities such as the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston areas. Other pollution comes from trees around the area. They give off Volatile Organic Compounds(VOC’s).  Once the level reaches “Level Orange” people with asthma or other breathing issues could be affected. The elderly and young children are most at risk.  The other negative side to having bad air is that it could affect how much we pay at the pump. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a set standard that if we go over a certain number(in a 3 year average), we will be in non-attainment status. If we obtain non-attainment status we could be put under strict regulations by the EPA. We could be paying more to refuel cars and it could affect potential businesses trying to obtain permits to build in the area.

Here is what you can do to reduce pollution (courtesy of The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Alamo Area Council of Governments):

  • Refuel after 6 p.m.
  • Avoid drive-thru lanes; park and go inside to conduct your business.
  • Drive less—walk or bicycle, combine errands, and/or pre-plan to minimize trips.
  • Share a ride to work or school.  For more information dial (210-CAR-POOL or visit the Commute Solutions website at
  • Ride VIA when you can.  For more information, call (210) 362-2020 or visit
  • Use teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings or bundle meetings together.
  • Try to avoid morning rush hour; ask your employer about flex-schedules or compressed workweeks.
  • Take your lunch to work or school and avoid mid-day trips and errands.
  • Keep your vehicles well-maintained in order to reduce tailpipe emissions.
  • Postpone landscaping work using small gasoline engines until after 6 p.m.
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One Comment on “Air Quality Health Alert”

  1. very nice post… the way it has been discribed about air quality is amazing and valuable…

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