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Brief Alert: Heat Waves and Air Quality
By Chase Harber:
The University of Louisville Physicians group released an advisory about the potential risks associated with heat waves and their immediate impact on air quality. With the heat index reported to climb over 100, the air quality in the city of Louisville will undoubtedly be dropping.
As the air temperature increases the hot air tends to rise leaving all of the more dense pollutants closer to the ground in higher concentrations. The relatively light wind and little rain also aide in creating a stagnant environment for pollutants to reside, thus making it harder for our respiratory system to process air as efficiently.
This is especially important if you have any chronic conditions such as COPD, CVD or asthma. If this is the case for you, it is recommended that you stay inside and avoid outside on days when the Louisville area is under an air quality alert. Avoid high traffic areas where pollutants are common like the downtown area and if you are forced to go into an advisory area, keep your exposure time at a minimum.