DENVER (CBS4) – With the warmer temperatures come ozone alerts. The Regional Air Quality Council kicked off those alerts on Wednesday.

“The good news is that in Denver we have pretty good air quality for the most part, but we do have a remaining challenge with something called ozone,” Andy Spielman with the Regional Air Quality Council said. “That’s not the hole in the layer ozone, it’s ground-level ozone.”

Spielman said ground-level ozone is not a natural substance. It’s created by the sun cooking things like exhaust from vehicles. So when it’s hot and sunny outside, the ozone cooks and creates respiratory problems for many people.

Spielman laid out some simple steps for the community to deal with the ozone issues. They are as follows:

– Reduce number of vehicle trips
– Only fill gas tanks at night
– Take public transportation when possible
– Ride a bicycle to work or to do errands
– Mow lawns in the evening when it’s cooler

“Anything we all can do to reduce the amount of emissions that are out there cooking on those hot sunny days,” Spielman said.

CBS4 meteorologist Jennifer Zeppelin said typically the hottest part of the day is between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

June is also Bike to Work Month.

“It’s a great way for all of us to make a simple change. There are two or three million people in the metropolitan area and together we can make a big difference,” Spielman said. “We’re lucky in Denver that we have a new program called B-Cycle.”

B-Cycle is a shared bicycle program in Denver that will also soon be available in Boulder.

“On a shared bicycle or on one of your own, just getting on the bike and out of your car can make a big difference on these hot summer days,” Spielman said. “It’s a great way to get some exercise, get out of the car, and frankly see some parts of town that you wouldn’t see otherwise,” Spielman said.

Link: Colorado Air Quality


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