By Scott Sarvay

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 24, 2009 at 10:58 AM EDT

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is forecasting high ozone levels which can be unhealthy for some groups of people.

Active children and adults, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease should limit or avoid prolonged outdoor exertion while an Air Quality Action Day for Ozone is in effect. If breathing becomes difficult, go indoors and contact your health care provider.

Until the Air Quality Action Day forecast expires, sensitive groups should schedule outdoor activities during the early morning or late evening to reduce exposure to ground-level ozone.

Ground level ozone is formed when a mixture of air pollutants are cooked in the sunlight. Weather conditions used in forecasting levels of ground-level ozone include amount of sunshine, temperature, wind direction and humidity. Even at low levels, breathing ground-level ozone can trigger a variety of health problems for people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Everyone can change their habits to reduce ground-level ozone. The tips below will help improve air quality.

  • Avoid using the drive-through, combine errands into one trip, and turn off the engine when idling for more than 10 seconds

  • Walk, bike, carpool or use public transportation

  • Maintain proper air pressure in tires

  • Delay lawn mowing or vehicle refueling until after 7 p.m.

  • Turn off your engine when idling for more than 30 seconds

  • Avoid using the drive-through and combine errands into one trip

  • Conserve electricity by turning off lights and computers when not in use

Citilink will offer FREE FARES on Ozone Action Days.

To learn more about the ozone and sign up to receive air quality forecasts, visit the IDEM Smog Watch Web site or call-800-631-2871.

Or visit the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health's Web site.

You can also visit the Clean Air force Web site.

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