Though the unprecedented Code Purple only lasted for about 90 minutes until the sun set, it still seemed to catch many metro residents by surprise. The overwhelming comment on MWN's Facebook post relaying the information was "wow!"
|EPA color-coded air quality forecasts and their health concern level|
A Code Purple, which is the second highest of the color-coded air pollution levels, means that the general population, not just those who are in the "sensitive groups" category, could be affected. Ground-level ozone is different from upper-level ozone that people generally think of when referencing a hole in the ozone layer. Low-level ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight. Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant. At Code Purple levels, ozone can cause serious and lasting damage to the lungs.
|Diagram courtesy AirNow.gov.|
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