Air quality warning issued for several Florida counties

Broward County environmental officials monitoring situation

DAVIE, Fla. – An air quality warning was issued Thursday for several counties throughout the state of Florida, including Broward County.

Environmental officials are measuring ozone levels 24/7 while they monitor the situation.

The warning comes after elevated levels of air pollution were detected in the county.

The elevated levels come from vehicle emission chemical reactions, something seen when the temperature and traffic are high and humidity is low.

Environmental officials said the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups of people, including those with asthma, as well as children, elderly people or people with respiratory issues.

"(We ask) that they limit their outdoor activities, especially in the late afternoon, early evening hours, because that's when we see the highest levels of our ozone," Natural Resources Administrator Monica Pognon said.

Asthma and allergy specialist Dr. Shahnaz Fatteh said this is the time of year when her practice tends to see an increase in patients.

She recommends keeping a close eye on children and the elderly population.

"These are the folks we really want them to hear about staying indoors and avoid being outside," Fatteh said.

Officials are hoping conditions will improve by the weekend and urge people to cut down on gassing up their vehicles in the evening.

People are also asked to car pool if they are able and to turn up the air at their homes when they are not there.

Officials said back-to-back days of high heat, sunlight and low humidity have contributed to the air quality levels.