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Air Quality
Transportation is one of the largest sources of air pollution in New Jersey and is responsible for just over 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Every time a vehicle is turned on it creates air pollution, which creates many health issues and exacerbates asthma, an especially common problem in children today. GMTMA is able to help communities and companies decrease air pollution by encouraging the use of public transportation, ridesharing and other alternative commuting solutions.
Air Quality Action Days
From mid-May through the beginning of September, there is a greater chance of having an Air Quality Action Day. Air Quality Action Days are usually hot, muggy days with little wind, when the amount of ground-level ozone and/or particulate matter is predicted to approach unhealthful levels, and the federal standards could be exceeded. Ozone and particulate matter are responsible for numerous health problems such as chest pain, coughing, wheezing, throat irritation, congestion, aggravation of asthma and even permanent lung damage with repeated exposures.
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Air Quality Action Day
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An Air Quality Action day is called when the ozone and/ or particulate matter forecasts reach an Air Quality Index (AQI) of orange (unhealthy for sensitive groups), red (unhealthy), or maroon (very unhealthy). Local television, radio stations and email alerts can inform you of a forecasted Air Quality Action Day.
Air Quality Index Protect Your Health
Good
(0-50)
No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.
Moderate
(51-100)
Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
(101-150)
The following groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults.
  • People who are active outdoors.
Unhealthy
(151-200)
The following groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults.
  • People who are active outdoors.
  • Everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Very Unhealthy
(201-300)
The following groups should avoid all outdoor exertion:
  • People with lung disease, such as asthma.
  • Children and older adults.
  • People who are active outdoors.
  • Everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.
Things You Can Do (If it is an Air Quality Action Day or Not!):
  • Instead of driving, carpool, take public transportation (use NJ Transit OzonePass), telecommute, walk or bike.
  • If you must drive, avoid excessive idling or jack-rabbit starts, and try to consolidate errands.
  • Take your lunch. Or walk to a nearby restaurant to reduce the number of vehicles on the road during the daylight hours.
  • Don't refuel your car, or only do so after 7 P.M.
  • Avoid using outboard motors, off-road vehicles, or other gasoline powered recreational vehicles.
  • Wait to mow your lawn until late evening or the next day, and avoid using gas powered garden equipment.
  • Conserve energy to reduce energy needs. Set your air conditioner to a higher temperature.
  • Check the Air Quality forecast to see if tomorrow is going to be an Air Quality Action Day.
Download our flyer with tips and information for Ozone Action Days.


For additional information on air quality and transportation contact Ian Henderson at ihenderson@gmtma.org.