Season’s first ozone alert means air quality poor for outdoor activities

The Mid-America Regional Council issued Kansas City’s first ozone alert of the year Friday and recommended that people with sensitivities to smog limit outdoor activity.

The “Orange Alert” meant the air could be unhealthy for strenuous activity, particularly for people with asthma or other breathing conditions. The council recommended residents limit such activity to before 10 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Friday.

The council also recommended that residents take measures to limit the amount of ozone they release into the air. Those include driving less, filling gas tanks after dusk and not mowing lawns. The Kansas City Area Transit Authority reduces bus fares to $0.75 on ozone alert days.

According to the council’s Air Quality Information Line, Friday’s alert was based on an air quality index that measured 105 on Thursday. Orange alerts are issued between 100 and 150. Red Alerts, which means the air is unhealthy for people without respiratory ailments as well, are issued above 150.

Last year’s first ozone alert was issued on June 15.

Andy Marso: 816-234-4055, @andymarso