First alert of smog season issued Monday

LAWRENCEVILLE - A month after smog season started, the Clean Air Campaign issued its first smog alert of the year.

Monday was forecast as a "Code Orange" day, meaning the air was predicted to be unhealthy for sensitive groups - people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults and children.

"The necessary ingredients of smog are hot, sunny weather, and today certainly qualifies," Kevin Green, executive director of the Clean Air Campaign, said Monday.

It's unusual that no smog alerts were issued in May, but the cool weather and rain kept the smog at bay, Green said.

Smog alerts are issued on days when the concentrations of either ozone or particle pollution - or both - are expected to reach unhealthy levels. The Air Quality Index has five color-coded levels, ranging from green, or "good," to purple, or "very unhealthy."

The smog season lasts until Sept. 30.

The Clean Air Campaign is a Georgia nonprofit organization dedicated to improving air quality and reducing traffic congestion. To sign up for smog alerts, visit www.cleanaircampaign.org.