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Knozone Action Day declared Wednesday in Indianapolis as heat wave reduces air quality

Wednesday's expected record-breaking temperatures will be especially dangerous for those sensitive to poor air quality.

INDIANAPOLIS — The hottest air in a decade has arrived in Indiana, and it's causing poor air quality, specifically in Indianapolis where city leaders have declared a Knozone Action Day for Wednesday. 

(NOTE: The above video is about tips to stay safe during this week's heat wave)

A record will likely be broken again Wednesday with temperatures topping out near 97 degrees, breaking the previous record of 94 degrees set back in 1952. "Feels like" temperatures will be much higher, and hotter, between 100 and 110 degrees. 

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management warned this record heat will likely cause high ozone levels, which means poor air quality. This will be especially dangerous to vulnerable people like those with asthma, young children, older adults and anyone with COVID-19, lung disease or other serious health problems.

With this in mind, the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability (IOS) declared a Knozone Action Day for Wednesday, June 15.

Credit: WTHR

During a Knozone Action Day, the public is encouraged to do what they can to reduce their contribution to the poor air quality. 

IOS says you can do this by:

  1. Not using gas-powered lawn equipment
  2. Avoiding idling in gas-powered vehicles or not using a car altogether, if possible
  3. Waiting to get gas for your car or equipment until after 7 p.m.

People sensitive to poor air quality are being urged to stay inside.  

IOS warned air pollutants like ozone and particulate matter pose a public health issue and said that, according to the American Public Health Association, they can cause increased hospitalizations, asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and premature death.

Nearly 11% of Indianapolis residents have asthma and 8.6% have COPD. Both of these figures are higher than the national average.

Wednesday's heat will be dangerous for all Indianapolis residents and as such, IOS is advising everyone in the city to take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated and keep informed on weather updates.

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