2007 June 26: PA Harrisburg: AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY FORECAST FOR PHILADELPHIA, PITTSBURGH, SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY
Residents, Businesses Encouraged to Voluntarily Reduce Air Pollution
— The Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships
today announced an air quality action day is forecast for Wednesday, June 27, in south central
Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley, as well as the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia regions.
The forecast says Wednesday will be code ORANGE for fine particulates in all regions, and for ozone in
the Philadelphia region.
• The Susquehanna Valley region includes Cumberland, Lebanon, Dauphin, Lancaster and York
The Pittsburgh region includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and
Westmoreland counties; and
The Philadelphia region includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air
quality (green signifies good, yellow means moderate, orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for
sensitive people, and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all). Air quality action days are declared
at orange and red when fine particulate matter reaches unhealthy levels.
Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, forms during warm weather when pollution from
vehicles, industry, households and power plants “bakes” in the hot sun, making it hard for some people
Fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, about one-thirtieth the
diameter of a human hair. Unlike ozone, particulate matter pollution can occur year-round. These
particles can get deep into the lungs and cause significant health problems. PM 2.5 has been
determined to be most closely associated with health effects related to increased hospitals admissions
and emergency room visits for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and disease,
and decreased lung function.
The particles come from a wide range of sources—from power plants, industry, cars, trucks, buses,
wood stoves and forest fires. Some particles are released when fuels are burned; others form in the
atmosphere from reactions between gases released from power plants and factories.
On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems, such as
asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should
limit outdoor activities.
To help keep the air healthy, residents and businesses are encouraged to voluntarily limit certain
pollution-producing activities by taking the following steps:
Ride the bus or carpool to work;
Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials;
Wash dishes and clothes with full loads; and
Save energy — do not overcool your home.
These forecasts are provided in conjunction with the Air Quality Partnership of the Delaware Valley, the
Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership, the Lehigh Valley/Berks Air Quality Partnership, and
the Susquehanna Valley Air Quality Partnership.
For more information on ozone and fine particulate matter, visit
“Ozone.” To view the air quality forecast, for more information on the Air Quality Partnerships, or to sign
up to receive free daily forecasts by e-mail, visit http://www.aqpartners.org.