The issued an air quality watch Wednesday.
According to the DNR, warming temperatures and light winds are creating a temperature inversion, ideal for trapping fine particles and letting them build to unhealthy levels. On Wednesday, the fine particle pollution reached a level "unhealthy for sensitive groups" such as children, older adults, and people with asthma or heart disease and adults engaged in vigorous outdoor activities.
Fine particles are about 30 times smaller than the human hair, which are easily inhaled and lodge into lungs where they can aggravate or cause serious health problems. According to DNR, the particles come from combustion sources, such as power plants, automobiles and open fires.
"On fine particle Clean Air Action Days we ask residents, businesses, government agencies and institutions in the County to join us in taking some simple voluntary actions that will reduce fine particle emissions, protect the health of local residents and help ensure that Dane County continues to comply with all federal air quality standards," says Lisa MacKinnon, Project Coordinator of the Clean Air Coalition.
Such measures include riding mass transit, biking or walking, combining errands, not letting car engines idle, conserving energy and not starting open fires.
For up-to-date information on air quality, call the Air Quality Hotline is 1-866-DAILY AIR (1-866-324-5924).