Code Orange issued for Memphis area

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Code Orange Health Alert has been issued by the National Weather Service for Shelby, Crittenden and Desoto counties.

This means ozone levels are expected to exceed National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The Shelby County Health Department, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, the Arkansas Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality worked together to issue the alert.

The Shelby County Health Department advises that people who are active and people with respiratory difficulties should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. These groups should watch out for nose, eye, throat and lung irritation and keep in mind the high ozone levels can worsen existing conditions or make someone more susceptible to illness.

The health department also recommends people drive less and refuel after 7 p.m. to reduce the ozone levels.

The high ozone levels are due to pollution emissions, stagnant conditions, increased temperatures and decreased winds, according to the health department.