By Mike Kruzman /

The Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments is warning Livingston County residents about today (Friday) being the first Ozone Action Day of 2021.

With the warm and humid weather that has hit this region this week, SEMCOG and meteorologists from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy note that air pollutants have accumulated, making ozone formation probable. Breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause a variety of health problems, particularly for the elderly, children, and people with asthma or other respiratory issues.

As a result, SEMCOG is asking that local governments, businesses and the general public do what they can to lower pollutant emissions on Ozone Actions Days such as today. They ask that homeowners delay mowing their lawns until evenings or the next day, as garden equipment exhaust helps form ozone. Driving less, telecommuting, biking or walking will reduce traffic congestion and pollution. If possible, avoid refueling your vehicle during daylight hours to reduce fumes at the pump. Finally, turning off lights, computers and other electrical devices that are not in use can also make a difference.

SEMCOG Executive Director Amy O’Leary says that air quality is not necessarily something we can see, but it can have a huge impact on the health of residents, particularly within vulnerable populations. She said following a few simple suggestions like these is something everyone can do to make a difference.