City Leaders Stress Importance Of Maintaining Tulsa Air Quality

Monday, May 6th 2019, 7:20 pm
By: News On 6

City leaders gathered Monday to once again stress the importance of keeping Tulsa's air as clean as possible.

The American Lung Association reports air pollution in the U.S. is getting worse every day, but the good news is: the air in the Tulsa area is much cleaner than it was just a few decades ago.

Experts said Oklahoma's number of high ozone days per year has decreased dramatically just in recent years, but it still toes the line of what's healthy air for us to breathe.

"It's something we must monitor because ozone can actually burn your lungs," Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith said. "That sounds pretty drastic, but that's the truth."

The American Lung Association said children under the age of 18 and people over the age of 65 are the most at risk on high ozone days.  Keith said that's why she and so many other city leaders stress the importance of ozone awareness.

"It's an easy thing for all of us to say, we've got to get behind it!" Keith said. "We will not go and load up on gasoline when it's 100 degrees outside."

On high ozone days, make an extra effort to do little things like ride your bike, take the bus, or carpool to work. Keith also recommends not mowing your lawn on high ozone days and pumping your gas after dark.

"Those are important things everybody can do," she said. "Anything you can do to lower your footprint for Ozone."

Keith said Tulsa had 11 exceedances last summer, which is why the city's Ozone Alert! Program is just as relevant now as it was 29 years ago.

"Everybody wants to pitch in and every year, we try to do something more to move the needle on this," Keith said.

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