Thursday, July 20, 2006

Return of the brown cloud

I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me late last week, but apparently not. Visible smog is choking cities along the Front Range.

Soaring temps, increasing population and commerce, wildfire smoke and other components are contributing a perfect cauldron for creating ozone, a major component of smog. Activists are sounding the alarm and government officials are keeping watch, the AP reports.

Denver is on a pace to eclipse the ozone-choked summer of 2003, the worst in 20 years, when the state issued 42 ozone alerts warning of unhealthy air. As of Wednesday, this summer has seen 34.

For most people, heavy ozone is only irritating, but for people with respiratory difficulties — such as more than 250,000 Coloradans with asthma — it can lead to intense breathing problems, said Arthur McFarlane, who works with the state health department’s asthma program.

What can you do to help?
Combine errands
Avoid spilling gas at the pump
Fill your tank after dusk, when vapors have less time to cook into ozone
Trade your old gas-powered mower for a newer model

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RETURN of the Brown Cloud???? It NEVER left us! Down here in Colorado Springs, we see it almost every day. Eliminating the emissions program will make the Brown Cloud even worse as years go by, but because a lot of people whine about the cost of an inspection and how inconvienient it is, I hope those people choke on the Brown Cloud!

Nuff said!