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For the third time this summer, the Wichita area has exceeded federal standards for ozone levels. An Ozone Air Quality Alert has been issued for Sedgwick and Sumner Counties.
Ozone concentrations on Thursday and Friday were above the allowable levels under standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Continued violations could result in costly federal regulations that could hurt the local economy, according to Wichita Environmental Initiatives Manager Kay Johnson.
Ozone levels also bring health concerns, with throat irritation, coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, aggravation of asthma and other respiratory ailments.
Wichita area residents are being asked to drive as little as possible and use car pools when they can or use public transportation. Motorists are also urged to limit idling and avoid congested traffic areas if possible.
Residents are urged to refuel their vehicles in the evening. They should avoid using gasoline-powered trimmers and leaf blowers.