published Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Code Orange air watch issued for Hamilton County

A heavy fog across the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga, as shown from this vantage point from Stringer's Ridge.
A heavy fog across the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga, as shown from this vantage point from Stringer's Ridge.

An air pollution Code Orange Health Watch has been declared for ozone in Hamilton County for Thursday, according to the state of Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control.

The air quality index is predicted to be 101, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

About 50 percent of the population could be affected, including children, the elderly and people with respiratory diseases such as asthma. These groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, a news release from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau stated.

Prolonged exposure could produce negative health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; reduced lung function; inflamed and damaged lung lining; aggravated asthma conditions; and increase in risk of lung illnesses.

Air pollution experts recommend residents drive less; carpool whenever possible; refuel after 6 p.m.; postpone lawn care; and turn up thermostats two to four degrees.

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