NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The first Air Quality Alert of the season was issued for Middle Tennessee as ozone levels were expected to be high on Friday.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued an alert for Metro Nashville and a dozen counties surrounding it. The "code orange alert" means the concentration of ozone in the region is expected to reach or exceed unhealthful standards.
While most healthy people probably won't be affected, breathing the air could be harmful to children, the elderly and people with breathing difficulties. Authorities said those people should avoid long periods out of doors on Friday.
Ozone forms when sunlight reacts with emissions from auto exhaust and industrial plant discharges. Carpooling is encouraged and unnecessary car trips should be avoided.
Anyone with lung disease, older adults, children, and all those who suffer from asthma should limit the time they spend outside.
Ozone pollution happen more often in the summer months when the sun light "cooks" the gases and chemicals emitted by cars, power plants, and other sources. The emissions from thousands of cars along with several days of temperatures in the 80s lead to Air Quality Alert days and diminished air quality.
Doing a few simple things can reduce the levels of ozone already present in the air: