If you are sensitive to unhealthy air quality or have a heart or lung condition, be careful today.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is forecasting high soot levels in the air in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties. That means children, the elderly and people susceptible to heart or lung illnesses should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.
The fine particles can penetrate deep into the lungs. Breathing the particles can aggravate asthma, increase chronic bronchitis, cause coughing, make breathing difficult and painful, and cause premature death in people with heart and lung disease.
Particulate matter comes from gases that combust and form particles. It can come from coal, oil, gasoline, diesel and high-temperature industrial processes, including steel mills.
Levels of particulate matter in the air increase when the wind slows down.
You can help reduce soot levels by reducing your driving, idling and electricity use today.