Hot weather may not be the only threat to your health and safety this time of year.In addition to safety warnings about the heat itself, we could be seeing air-quality alerts this time of year. The DNR’s Brian Button explains there are regions where the air quality is likely to get bad in hot weather.Typically, smog is highest in the eastern third of the state. It can cover a big area, a dozen counties and can be just as intense over a cornfield as in a city. Button says car exhaust, factory smoke, vapors from things like paint all mix and bake in the heat to form smog. Button says his office has been seeing levels this week that are high, but not bad enough to trigger air-quality alerts.Those warnings will include advice to put off vigorous outdoor activities, even for young healthy people, and for the elderly, sick or people with problems like asthma to stay indoors. Button says you can do your part by keeping the car tuned up, and you can even report smoky drivers by phoning 877-“tailpipe.” The DNR will look up the license number and send the offending motorist information on cleaning up emissions. For news and air-quality reports, go to www.iowacleanair.com.
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