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What Does A Code Orange Air Quality Alert Mean?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The hot weather in Western Pennsylvania has also brought with it two days of air quality alerts.

A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day is in effect on Sunday.

It means that young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory issues like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis could have problems.

code orange alert
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"t can trigger their symptoms and so, they may notice that they're wheezing a little bit more, they may notice that it's a little bit hard for them to take deep full breaths," said Allegheny Health Network's Dr. Brian Lamb.

"A lot of times, you know, the particulate matter in the air could be a trigger for some people and they may find that they're using their rescue inhalers more often on weather condition days like this," Dr. Lamb went on to say.

So the best advice is to do what?

"The best advice is actually to try to stay inside during the hottest part of the day, you actually want to, if you can stay in air conditioned rooms, you should stay there. If not, if you're going to be outside try to limit how long you're going to be outside, and really the best time to be outside doing anything such as mowing lawn, working in the yard, anything like that is actually in the evenings as everything starts to cool down. As the air cools down it gets actually the quality goes up a little bit," Dr. Lamb said.

The state's health department is encouraging everyone to take steps to help improve air quality on days like these, by:

  • Setting your air conditioning a bit higher
  • Combining errands to reduce trips
  • Limit engine idling
  • Refueling after dusk
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