MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An Air Quality Alert Warning has been issued for some counties in the News Channel 3 viewing area.

According to the Shelby County Health Department, a “Code Orange Air Quality Forecast Advisory” for the Memphis Metropolitan area has been issued for Monday.

These areas are Shelby County, Tennessee; Crittenden County, Arkansas; and DeSoto County, Mississippi.

The “Code Orange Air Quality Forecast Advisory” indicates ozone levels are forecast to exceed the eight-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards, which come with health precautions for active adults adults and children, and people with respiratory difficulties, such as asthma.

Credit: EPA The federal Environmental Protection Agency has noted their color-coded scale for the Air Quality Index, from Code Green (Good) to Code Maroon (Hazardous).

These health precautions include:

  • Limiting prolonged outdoor activities during afternoon hours
  • High ozone levels can cause nose, eye, throat, and lung irritation
  • High ozone levels can aggravate existing conditions and lead to the increased potential for illness in this sensitive group

Ozone levels are expected to reach the classification of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” due to local emissions, warm temperatures, dry conditions, and decreased winds.

Ozone reduction tips:

  • Refuel cars and lawnmowers after 7:00 pm, avoid spills, and do not “top off” tanks
  • Carpool or mass transit
  • Combine errands instead of many separate trips
  • Drive less, especially during peak hours or hot days

For more information concerning air quality, contact one of the following: SCHD Pollution Control at (901) 222-9599 or; The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment-Planning and Air Quality Analysis Branch-Air Division at (501) 682-0070 or; The Arkansas Department of Health at (501) 661-2000. The air quality forecast for DeSoto County, MS is issued independently by MDEQ and may differ from the Memphis Metropolitan air quality forecast issued by the SCHD. For more information on the DeSoto County forecast, please visit MDEQ Air Quality Forecast or contact 601-961-5577.