Air Quality Conditions
Air quality is a factor of concern for Kansans experiencing asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and heart attacks. The level of these effects differs by the type of the pollutant, degree of exposure and individual susceptibility. Scientific studies indicate there is a relationship between health effects to PM2.5. Based on Kansas outdoor air measurements, air quality data tells us the level of ozone and fine particles (also known as PM2.5) present on a State and county level. To learn more about air quality conditions in Kansas see https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/298/Air-Quality-Index
What is PM 2.5?
Released when coal, gasoline, diesel fuels, wood are
burned PM2.5 is a mixture of small particles and liquid droplets smaller than
2.5 microns in diameter. Additionally, PM2.5 is created by chemical reactions
between other pollutants in the air. Depending on these activities and home
environment characteristics (e.g. air ventilation), PM2.5 indoor exposures may
be higher than outdoors. PM2.5 particles can accumulate in the respiratory
system and cause serious health effects.
Be aware of the Kansas Air Quality Index alerts and advisories. Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke, wood smoke, vehicle exhaust, and other sources of PM2.5 when possible.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a colorless gas composed of three atoms of
oxygen. This gas helps protect the earth from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet
rays in the upper atmosphere. However, at ground level, ozone can be harmful to
human health and the environment. Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly
into the air but is created through a series of reactions between nitrogen
oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the presence of heat and
sunlight. Sources of pollutants that form ozone include gasoline and diesel
vehicles, construction equipment and electric utilities. In Kansas, on
sweltering summer days ozone concentrations can rise to unhealthy levels.