August 9th, 2010
01:34 PM ET

Is there "Code Red" pollution in your city?

While no air pollution can possibly compare to the smog choking Moscow right now, people in the U.S. are reminded that they can check the air pollution for "code red" alerts in their own city on this site. Code red indicates that ozone or particle pollution levels are high enough to cause health problems.

Though frequent cold fronts moving across the Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast have kept levels low, a major heatwave is building in the nation's midsection and will push to the east this week. Air quality alerts have been posted for dozens of cities, including Washington, DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

A few tips from CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras -

1. Avoid being outdoors when bad air levels are at their highest, which is typically between 3-6p.m. 

2. Don't exercise outdoors during that time.

3. Combine trips and carpool, and avoid fueling up if possible (the gasoline fumes add to the pollution) and don't idle your vehicle.

If you ever need an excuse not to mow the lawn, try this: "Honey, I can't mow the lawn this afternoon, it's bad for my lungs."

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Filed under: Weather
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Paul


    August 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    More and more American citizens are demanding real time expanded atmospheric information via weather reports, weather news marquees and on the weather news cable and satellite channels. More and more American citys are now tracking the Sun's UV index, pollen levels, pollution levels current and historical, pollution types and percentages along with the adjusted 7 day forecasts. I'm thankful to see the UV index now being more standard to be shown to American citizens. I would like to see radiological events being recorded and displayed when gamma ray blasts are detected, heavy cosmic x-ray bombardment etc. Currently such events are only mentioned AFTER the fact which doesn't in any manner help those exposed to them already, America should demand better of NOAA and Space Command centers to release that information in a real time basis.

    August 10, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |