NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If the latest heat wave wasn't enough, Tuesday we are facing yet another so-called Code Orange Air Quality Alert day — with air quality that can be unhealthy for specific sensitive groups.
"These are people with heart and lung disease, older people and children," said Dr. Stokes Peebles with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
The culprit is higher than usual levels of ground-level ozone, sparked by emissions from cars and other sources that can make breathing difficult for some — resulting in higher levels of smog.
"Emissions from vehicles and power plants react with the sunlight, and that causes smog," Peebles said.
"We haven't had any clouds, we haven't had any rain — the rain affects smog and knocks it down; also, with the higher sunlight, it's not necessarily the heat so much as it's the sunlight," Peebles said.
Experts say that for those who work outdoors, prone to asthma or other lung issues, it's important to speak up ahead of time so your employer knows Tuesday may pose an issue.
"It's really important to tell your boss in advance if you have asthma — tell them in advance so hopefully they'll be understanding," Peebles said.