Have you ever wondered about the air quality in Wichita, KS? I had the opportunity to visit one of the air quality monitoring sites in Wichita. This site continuously measures the amount of particulate matter (tiny particles that can be inhaled and can negatively impact the heart and lungs), radiation, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide in the air. Daily Wichita air quality information is available online at the Wichita Air Quality Index. You can also visit the Air Now site for additional information and health warnings.
Have you ever heard warnings about our ozone levels – especially on hot summer days? Ozone is colorless and is found in air all around us. An ozone rating of 0 to 50 is good and will not result in negative health effects. However, a rating between 101 and 150 is unhealthy for people with respiratory problems, small children, the elderly, and people working or exercising outside. Some key contributors to increased ozone levels are motor vehicles, industries, and gas stations. Emissions from these sources react when exposed to sunlight and ozone is one of the products.
According to Air Now, there are ways to reduce your contribution to Wichita ozone levels:
- Limit driving whenever possible – combine errands, work from home, teleconference, carpool, walk , or use public transportation
- Refuel your vehicle early in the morning or after sunset
- Minimize idling of your vehicle
- Conserve electricity by using a programmable thermostat
- If you use a gas mower, postpone mowing to a day when the ozone levels are expected to be lower