High levels of ozone pollution (smog) could develop this week, especially in the eastern parts of Thurston County and Olympic foothills in Mason and Jefferson Counties. The pollution levels may increase enough to push the Air Quality in those parts of ORCAA’s jurisdiction into “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG)” category. These conditions will develop over the course of the week as the regional weather continues to be hot and dry. Ozone, the main ingredient of smog, presents a serious air quality problem in many parts of the United States. Even at low levels, ozone can cause a number of respiratory effect.
The Washington State Department of Health recommends that people who are sensitive to air pollution limit time spent outdoors. Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, cause difficulty breathing, and make lung and heart problems worse. Air pollution is especially harmful to children, people with heart and lung problems, and older adults (over age 65). People with lung or heart conditions may have symptoms earlier than people who don’t. Symptoms may include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, sudden overwhelming fatigue, and rapid heart beat.