Ozone alert

In February the CDPHE issued an ozone alert for the afternoon of Feb. 15 through the early morning of Feb. 16.
On Feb. 13, ozone levels (one hour averages) reached 93 parts per billion (ppb). On Feb. 14, they reached 91 ppb. On Feb. 15, they reached 91 ppb., and on Feb. 16, they reached 63 ppb.
Levels above 75 ppb up to the levels that we saw in February are considered, “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.” When an alert consistent with these levels is issued active children, active adults, and those with respiratory problems such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion. People with respiratory problems should stay inside, if possible, during the worst part of the day, which is usually the afternoon to early evening.
Rio Blanco Public Health and Environment (RBPH&E) is currently developing a local alert system to notify locals when these alerts are issued. RBPH&E plan to get the word out to several local stakeholders, such as childcare facilities, health care providers, the recreation district, and others, so that they may inform their patrons and take precautions.
The RBPH&E is attempting to find a way to notify everyone in the alert area and have several ideas but have not come up with anything definitive yet. Timely communication can be a challenge in small rural communities like ours due to the limited amount of public communication tools available but we believe what we have developed so far will be a good system to get the information out to people within the community. And going forward, they plan to improve and refine this system.
Anyone with questions, concerns, or suggestions on this issue is encouraged to contact environmental health officer, Jeremy Simmons, at 970-878-9526 or the public health director, Kimberlee Long, at 878-9525.

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