Level Orange

Driving down the President George Bush Turnpike, traffic is stalled and the air pollution level is Orange. Should you put your air conditioner on to circulate the inside air and turn the vents off? I never know if it is too late and I have acquired the air pollution inside of my car and then it would be better to get some outside air. Perhaps I should not circulate and keep the inside air from getting more pollution? Maybe I should turn it to circulate before I leave home. Of course, the air in my garage could be poor, so perhaps I should acquire some clean air first. Truthfully, I have no idea.

Air pollution is known to affect health, but how much is too much? In partnership with Emory University, we are trying to discover the relationship between air quality and illness. We are looking at air quality and emergency room (ER) visits. Do more people go to ERs for illnesses during level Orange days? Which illnesses are most affected? Do people go to the ER a few days after high pollution days? Many questions remain. We hope to have some definite answers within the next year.

Pam Doughty Ph.D.