Ozone season begins in Indianapolis


Like the sighting of the first crocus of spring, this headline always graces our inbox around this time of year. The good people at DPW send it out in hopes that media outlets will spread the word about ozone and the concept of Knozone Action Days.

So. We will do our part, in our own way.

First off, in the city's words:

"Now in its 14th year, Knozone, Indianapolis’ voluntary air pollution education program, educates the public about the effects of ground-level ozone (smog) and fine particle pollution (soot) on public health and the environment.

Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant that is formed when two types of pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), react in the presence of heat and sunlight. As a result, a Knozone Action Day for ground-level ozone can be called between April and September.

Fine particle pollution occurs when very small particles, less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, exist in the air. Fine particle pollution is produced any time fuels such as coal, oil, diesel or wood are burned, so a Knozone Action Day for fine particles can occur any time of year."

In fact (back to moi), we had a Knozone Action Day in the dead of winter this year, something I felt was one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, though I am sure I was overreacting.

Anywho, here's a list of things you should do when the city announces a Knozone Action Day:

* Wear a Hazmat-sanctioned suit and respirator.

* Refrain from breathing.

* Cease all activities, including methane-producing burps and farts.

OKAY WE ARE KIDDING. Here is their list:

· Reducing vehicle idling

· Biking or walking instead of driving

· Carpooling

· Using public transportation

· Combining errands

· Filling gas tanks and mowing after 6 p.m.

Back to moi, how hard can this be? And aren't there plenty of benefits to all the above (their list, not my bogus list) beyond the environmental impact? Exercise from biking and walking, making new friends through carpooling, etc.

I ride my bike to work nearly every day and have to wait at intersections all over town, so I know that the majority of you — 90% by my reckoning — are in your cars, alone.

And talking on the cell phone while you drive doesn't mean you aren't alone.

For more information, visit www.knozone.com or call (317) 327-4AIR for current air quality information.