Air quality not good; Code Orange in effect

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Today, the air quality is not very good, in fact it's pretty hazy out. We are under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert. That means sensitive groups may find the air outside unhealthy.

Early Tuesday morning, James Rese is out for his daily run, on a day when the air quality is bad and getting that run in may be a little more difficult that usual.

We caught him in the middle of it. "Maybe that is it! I was blaming it on the heat. Maybe I can use that as an excuse to why I'm out of breath right now," says Rese.

Well, the heat from the sun does have something to do with it and so does pollution on the ground like exhaust from your car. Combined, the two aspects are leaving the haze in the air.

Code Orange, technically speaking, meaning the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups. That includes the elderly, young, and those with heart and respiratory problems.

"It's a great day to stay and work at home if you can. And, also limit lawn mowing because who wants to mow their lawn when it's 95 degrees anyway's! Just another excuse not to mow your lawn!" says Dan Salkovitz with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

Dan Salkovitz monitors the air quality everyday in our area and says today people with asthma really should stay indoors, especially since he says Richmond has a lot of asthmatic people.

And get this: today is not the day to get your daily jog, or tennis match in, because even healthy people could feel the effects.

"I'm going to go to the library ands stay in the air conditioning until about 2 o'clock,' says Vera Smith.

But that is exactly when the conditions will be the worst outside and normally it stays that way until around 8 p.m. in the evening.

'If you can avoid doing anything that burns gas today, that helps pollution," says Salkovitz.

And if jogging is a must, take some advice from James. "I don't run by highways or anything like that where it has the exhaust."

Future days and determination if a Code Orange -- or worse -- is issued will be made around 3 in the afternoon, everyday for the following day.

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