February is American Heart month and health officials are offering tips to keep your lungs healthy by reducing exposure to Ozone.
Ozone is air pollution that forms when emissions from motor vehicles, power plants, industrial solvents, and other sources react together.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) research shows that air pollution can trigger heart attacks, strokes and worsen heart conditions, in people who have heart disease. One in three Americans have heart disease.
Air Quality Index forecasts for more than 400 cities are available on a forecast map through a free Air-Now app for iPhone and Android phones or at the Air Now website. The Air Quality Index, or AQI, is the system used to warn the public when air pollution is dangerous.
In addition to the AQI, the St. Clair County Health Department in partnership with Memorial Hospital, the American Lung Association and Channel 4 St. Louis KMOV-TV provide daily ozone reports from May through September. Just call 618-257-6265 to find out the daily ozone report in St. Clair County.
Ozone can present health problems for those suffering from heart disease, but with a few simple steps you can decrease exposure.
On orange or red Air Quality Days, take the following precautions:
- Take the bus or MetroLink or carpool
- Limit idling
- Bring your lunch to work
- Reduce driving; walk or bike for exercise
- Keep your engine well-tuned
- Conserve energy, use a ceiling fan, turn off lights Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances
For more information about services provided by the St. Clair County Health Department, visit our website.