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Code Orange Air Quality Alert Issued For Pittsburgh Region

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day is in effect once again today for the Pittsburgh region.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality.

With temperatures expected to climb into the 90s on Monday, the DEP has issued a Code Orange alert.

air quality alert
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

An "orange" air quality level signifies unhealthy air pollution levels for young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems -- such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

"You want to be careful with patients with asthma, COPD, that they're going to have a higher risk of developing symptoms.  So they'll want to continue taking their medications.  Stay indoors, stay in a cool environment as much as you can and stay hydrated," said Allegheny General Hospital Emergency Physician Matthew Poremba.

On air quality action days, you should try to carpool, reduce vehicular travel, wait until after dusk to get gas and set your air conditioner thermostat to a higher temperature.

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"I want to see about 16-20 glasses of water a day because you have losses with the heat," said Dr. Poremba.

Once the sun rose over the city of Pittsburgh Monday morning, a haziness set in.  With temperatures approaching the mid-90s, some Pittsburgher's are prepared.

"You go and get iced drinks and you get them early in the morning so you don't have to go out late in the afternoon when it's really hot," said Maria Somma.

However, the heat isn't that bad for others like Larry Tatum who's visiting Pittsburgh from Omaha, Nebraska.

"The heat index I believe yesterday was 106," said Tatum. "Friday, it was about 102. Thursday, it was over 100. Sweltering is what it was. It feels pretty good here even though it's a little hot for you guys."

There is good news as a cold front is expected to move into the region. That cold front is expected to bring a chance for thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and evening.

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