Air Quality Information

Air Quality Alert Days

The Air Pollution Control Bureau issues an Air Quality Alert Day when air pollution levels for ozone or fine particles are predicted to reach unhealthy levels for some or all of the population in Hamilton County.  An alert is called anytime air quality levels are predicted to reach 101 or higher on the Air Quality Index (AQI) chart.

Code Orange Alert Day

A Code Orange Alert Day is called when air pollution levels are predicted to reach between 101 and 150 on the AQI. This means the air is  unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, active and/or older adults, and people with heart or lung disease.

Ozone Pollution Alert Day:

Who is affected?
Active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

What are the health effects and symptoms?

  • irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat
  • coughing
  • pain, burning, or discomfort in the chest when taking a deep breath
  • chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath
  • reduced lung function (the amount of oxygen taken in is less than usual)
  • asthma can be aggravated
  • lungs can become inflamed and the lung lining can become damaged
  • the risk of developing lung illnesses increases


Fine Particle Pollution Alert Day

Who is affected?
People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

What are the health effects and symptoms?

  • irritation to the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing
  • lung function is decreased
  • aggravated asthma
  • non-fatal heart attack
  • risk of developing chronic bronchitis
  • premature death in people with heart or lung disease
  • irregular heartbeat

What Can I Do to Reduce Exposure?

The most effective way to reduce exposure to high levels of pollution is to reduce time and exertion outdoors:

  • plan strenuous activity when pollution levels are lower
  • reduce the amount of time spent at vigorous outdoor activity
  • choose less strenuous outdoor activity (e.g., walk instead of jog)

How Can I Help Reduce Pollution Levels?

There are many simple ways to reduce pollution levels in Hamilton County.  If each person living in Hamilton County makes an effort to do just one of the following tips, pollution levels can remain healthy.

Days when ozone pollution is expected to be high:

  • Drive less – combine errands into one trip, carpool, telecommute or take the bus, limit engine idling
  • postpone lawn care until after 6 p.m.
  • refuel after 6 p.m.
  • turn up the thermostat 2-4 degrees
  • use household, workshop and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast

Days when particle pollution is expected to be high:

  • reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use
  • avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
  • avoid burning

Sign up to receive Daily Air Quality Reports and Air Quality Health Alerts:

If you would like to receive an email, sign up here.
Daily Air Quality Reports are sent Monday – Friday.

If you prefer to receive air quality forecasts every day, subscribe to Enviroflash.