The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is using Air Quality Awareness Week (April 29 – May 3) to remind everyone about potential health impacts related to air quality and help residents understand what they can do to minimize air pollution.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that people at higher risk of health problems caused by air pollution use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to learn about their local air quality and actions they can take to reduce exposure. AirNow.gov helps people see the levels of air quality for both ozone and particle pollution across the country.
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Much of Larimer County is within the North Front Range ozone nonattainment area. The area was designated by the EPA as a nonattainment area in 2012. Ozone (O3) can reach unhealthy levels in the summer months when heat and sunlight convert emissions to O3. When ozone or particle pollution levels reach unhealthy levels, community members can reduce air pollution. Here’s how:
- Choose a cleaner commute — carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk.
- Combine errands and avoid idling your engine.
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Keep your car, boat, and other engines tuned.
- Follow refueling instructions when you fill up at the gas station, and after dusk. Be careful not to spill fuel and always tighten your gas cap.
- Use paints and cleaning products that are safe for the environment.
- Use gas-powered lawn and garden equipment early in the morning or avoid.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
- Consider using gas logs instead of wood.
In the garden:
- Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.
- Rake leaves instead of using a leaf blower.
- Opt for a manual lawn mower instead of electric or fuel-burning models.
- Plant more plants, especially trees.
Learn more about Air Quality Awareness Week at