Clean Air
   
 

Smog and Outdoor Activity

Exercise is a key element in maintaining good health. But if we choose to exercise outdoors during times of heavy smog, the pollutants in the air can make us more vulnerable to health damage. We breathe more air during exercise and strenuous work, and draw that air deeper into our lungs. Children, the elderly and those with lung diseases are especially susceptible to smog.

Minimize your exposure to air pollution by following a few simple guidelines:

 
 

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  1. Watch the calendar. Harmful ozone is at its' peak during the May-September "smog season" when the weather is warm and sunny.
  2. Watch the clock. Exercise early in the day or in the evening. Since ozone is created by mixing pollution with sunlight, the worst time of the day is from 10am to 2 pm: the sunniest, hottest time just after the morning rush hour.
  3. Check local Air Quality Reports. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the standardized system used to record the levels of air pollution. Current reports are available on the local news, in newspapers, or found online.
Index Value 8-hour Ozone Levels Description Color Advisory
0 to 50 0.00-0.064 ppm Good Green None
51 to 100 0.065-0.084 ppm Moderate Yellow Unusually sensitive individuals should limit prolonged outdoor exertion
101 to 150 0.085-0.104 ppm Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Orange Members of sensitive groups, including children, the elderly, people with lung disease and active adults should limit prolonged outdoor exertion
151 to 200 0.105-0.124 ppm Unhealthy Red Members of sensitive groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion
201 to 300 0.125-0.374 ppm Very Unhealthy Purple Members of sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exertion; everyone else should limit outdoor exertion
301 and above (2) Hazardous Maroon Everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion

 
 
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American Lung Association of Los Angeles County
5858 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA
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