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Waiting to Inhale : Hot time in the city can mean too much ozone's in the air



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Writer's note: Asthma and ozone

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DFW clean air
More on ozone from the EPA

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    A few tips from the Environmental Protection Agency on what you can do to help improve air quality:
  • Combine your errands into one car trip. When you first start a car after it has been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine's warm. Better yet, ride your bike, walk or in-line skate instead of driving. Vehicles on the road create more than 25 percent of all air pollution nationwide.
  • Take mass transit, share a ride, car pool or telecommute to work when possible. Even if you do it just once or twice a week, you'll reduce traffic congestion and pollution and save money. If your area has a travel and transit information network, use it by calling, visiting the web site or tuning into the cable station. Get travel and transit updates before you leave home and you won't get stuck in a jam.
  • Take care of your car. Getting regular maintenance and tune-ups, changing the oil and checking tire inflation can improve gas mileage, extend your car's life and increase its resale value. It can also reduce traffic congestion due to preventable breakdowns, and it could reduce your car's emissions by more than half.
  • Get fuel when it's cool, and don't top off the tank. Refueling during cooler periods of the day or in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone. Topping off the tank releases gas fumes into the air and cancels the benefits of the pump's anti-pollution devices. Stopping short of a full tank is safer and reduces pollution.
  • Share these tips with others. If everyone took just a few of these steps, it could make a big difference and result in cleaner air.
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