The air will be unhealthy for children and older adults Thursday in Kansas City.
An ozone alert has been issued by the Mid-America Regional Council. The orange-level alert signifies that a combination of sunlight and a lack of wind will cause damaging chemical reactions that form ground-level ozone, a smog-like pollutant, said Amanda Graor, an air quality program manager for MARC.
"It doesn't smell or taste like anything, but it makes the air hazy," Graor said.
An orange-level alert is the fourth-worst that MARC issues. Ozone season runs from March 1 through Oct. 31, and you can track MARC's "Skycast" service for future alerts on its website or Twitter account.
Thursday will mark the second day in 2018 with an orange-level alert. The first one was May 18.
During ozone alerts, respiratory symptoms are reported more frequently at hospitals and asthma attacks are more common, Graor said.
Those exercising outdoors may experience allergy-like symptoms, such as wheezing or shortness of breath.
Children are more at risk because they breathe more pollution per pound of body weight, Graor said.
Thursday's high is 91 degrees. There is a slight chance for thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.
MARC offers a number of environmentally friendly tips for reducing pollution:
- Carpool or ride public transit. Vehicles release harmful chemicals that add to air pollution. Bus fares are reduced to 75 cents on days with an ozone alert.
- Practice trip chaining. Group several errands into one trip so as to avoid unnecessary miles on the road.
- Refuel after the sun goes down. Chemicals such as spilled gasoline need sunlight in order to react in the way that creates ground-level ozone.
- Plant a tree.
- Mow in the evening.
- Paint at night. Don't use oil-based paints, solvents and varnishes.
"More than half of all emissions that lead to ozone pollution are caused by everyday activities, such as driving or yard work," MARC said in a release. "There are simple actions everyone can take to help reduce pollution."