TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality issued an ozone alert for Wednesday, Sept. 13, for the Tulsa metropolitan area.

An ozone alert means conditions allow for the buildup of ozone near the ground to an unhealthy level.

"When winds are light, the vapors from fuels such as gasoline, exhaust from engines, and air pollutants from industrial activities remain trapped near th ground. If sunshine is abundant when these air pollutants build up, a chemical process is triggered that results in the development of ozone near the ground during the afternoon and evening hours," according to the National Weather Service

A few things people can do to help keep the ozone levels from becoming unhealthy during ozone alert days:

  • Postpone any unnecessary driving and car pool if possible.
  • If you do drive to work, turn the air conditioner in your car off during your morning commute.
  • Cut down on extra driving by bringing your lunch to work.
  • If you must refuel your vehicle, do it in the evening after the sun goes down or postpone your fueling to another day.
  • Postpone running the lawn mower and gas trimmer, the exhaust from these small engines contributes a significant amount of pollution to the air.
  • Industrial facilities should reduce pollution emissions as much as possible on ozone alert days.

For more information, contact the ODEQ at 918-293-1600.