What is an Air Quality Alert day?

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Chelsea asked what the recent air quality alert days mean and who they apply to.

Everyday, nationwide, the air quality is monitored and days that may be harmful to your health are predicted. This is part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The weather is part of the formula that can end up with an air quality alert.

The EPA sums it up as ground level or "bad" ozone concentrations. This is created by a chemical reaction of Nitrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities, vehicles, and chemicals are examples of major sources of Nitrogen and VOC's.

Breathing the bad ozone can trigger health issues, so that's why it's broken down into alert categories. A Code Orange, or unhealthy for sensitive groups, is fairly common in our area. On these days, children, elderly, active folks, or anyone with lung/heart issues should limit time outdoors.

Send your weather-related questions to Heather!