San Antonio/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on May 19, 2024
San Antonio Braces for Elevated Ozone Levels with First Ozone Action Day of the YearSource: Unsplash/ weston m

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is sounding the alarm for San Antonio, declaring Saturday, May 18, an Ozone Action Day, the first to hit the city this year. With an unfavorable air quality forecast on the horizon, residents with respiratory issues and those who fall into vulnerable groups, such as young children and older adults, are being advised to keep it indoors and play it safe.

Conditions are set to quickly align to rapidly form high levels of ozone pollution that can choke the city's air. The City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) has issued a warning that these higher levels of ozone could spell trouble for folks with lung conditions, including asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. According to a statement on Metro Health's website, "Those who have asthma or difficulty breathing are strongly encouraged to stay indoors."

The big ask from Metro Health is for every resident and business to chip in and do their part in cutting down pollutants. The recommended slew of activities to help hold the line on ozone levels include putting off topping off the tank until after 6 p.m., skipping the lazy drive-thru lines in favor of dining in, and killing the engine rather than idling.

Other tips to consider for those aiming to help keep the air clean involve tweaking your air conditioners to run a couple degrees warmer during peak hot hours from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., as well as giving the solitary drive a break and opting for carpools or public transportation. In an effort to further beat down pollution levels, locals are also urged to knock out several errands in one trip rather than taking multiple outings. Every small change can make an outsized impact.