'Very unhealthy' smog to hit Southern California

Warnings of a 'summertime smog season' have been made by air quality officials in Southern California. 

High temperatures are expected to persist over the next several days throughout the South Coast, increasing the likelihood of 'Unhealthy' to 'Very Unhealthy' air quality in many areas. 

Ground-level ozone - the main summertime pollutant - coupled with the heatwave and atmospheric conditions that trap pollutants near the surface may cause unusually high and persistent levels of bad air quality.

Ozone air pollution can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, damage cells that line the lungs and aggravate conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. Pictured is downtown Los Angeles engulfed in mist and smog 

While poor air quality isn't unusual during the summer, the National Weather Service is predicting a heat wave over the entire Southwest that will last through at least till early next week, which will worsen air quality. 

According to the air quality officials, when air quality is listed as 'Unhealthy' and reaches an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 151 to 200, everyone may begin to experience some negative health effects, and people who are more sensitive could experience more serious effects. 

But when air quality is listed as 'Very Unhealthy,' with an AQI of 201-300, everyone in the region can experience more serious health effects. 

Ozone air pollution can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, damage cells that line the lungs and aggravate conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis. 

As such, unhealthy air quality can lead to increased school or work absences, visits to doctors and even emergency room visits and hospital admissions. 

Ozone will reach unhealthy to very unhealthy levels in the Santa Clarita Valley, the San Gabriel Mountains, portions of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, the Inland Empire and the San Bernadino Mountains. Pictured are the San Jacinto Mountains with a dense layer of smog

Because of this threat, the South Coast air quality officials suggest a list of measures during the hot weather.

At times when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy, it's recommended that physical exertion outdoors is kept to a minimum. 

In many places, ozone levels peak in the mid afternoon and early evening, so avoiding strenuous outdoor activities during those times can help reduce adverse health effects

In many places, ozone levels peak in the mid afternoon and early evening, so avoiding strenuous outdoor activities during those times can help reduce adverse health effects. 

In terms of practical ways of reducing ozone pollutants, people can use public transportation or carpool, especially on hot days. 

Finally, people can set their thermostats slightly higher to help conserve images. 

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June 17, 2017

Sources:` Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail ; Daily Mail

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