We’re near the end of the Air Quality Awareness Week (May 2 -6), but that doesn’t not mean we can stop thinking about air quality. We all contribute to air pollution and pollution is impacting all of us. In our region pollution is the largest environmental health risk.According to the airqualitypartnership.org, the EPA has designated the Greater Philadelphia region as an air quality “nonattainment area” for ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Particle pollution can occur at any time of the year but it is more common during the summer months and can cause asthma, coughing, cardiac problems, decreased lung function. This pollution also impacts the environment in a significant way leading to acidification of lakes and streams. And since the summer months are close, here are some tips to protect air quality:
- Take transit or rideshare. Ride the bus, train, subway or carpool to work or school.
- Refuel at the end of the day. Ozone levels are usually highest in mid to late afternoon.
- Don’t “top off” your tank when refueling. Spillage adds two tons of air pollution daily.
- Get the junk out of your trunk. An extra 100 pounds reduces gas mileage by up to 2%.
- Change your oil. Using a manufacturer recommended grade motor oil improved fuel economy by 1-2%.
- Get regular tune-ups and car maintenance checks. A properly running vehicle emits less pollution and saves gas.
- Turn it off. Idling your vehicle wastes gas and pollutes the air.
- Keep the right amount of air in the tires. Proper tire pressure saves gas and the air.
- Slow down and save. Each 5 MPH that you drive over 60MPH reduce fuel economy by up to 5%
- Avoid aggressive driving. Speeding, rapid acceleration and hard braking can reduce gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds.
- Tighten you gas cap. This is one of the easiest ways to keep gas in your tank.
- Visit www.i95coalition.org for more DRIVE GREEN, SAVE GREEN tips.
Sources: www.airqualitypartnership.org, www.dvrpc.org,