Smog alerts are color-coded based on the air quality index which categorizes air quality in Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Purple based on concentration of pollutants. Georgia Commute Options provides smog alerts on days when there’s a forecast for air pollution to reach unhealthy concentration levels — Code Orange or higher. Metro Atlanta residents can subscribe to these at www.GaCommuteOptions.com. In 2014, there were 11 smog alerts — nine Code Orange ones and two Code Purple (very unhealthy) ones.
How can residents help prevent smog alerts?
There are three main types of pollution: nitrogen oxides (NOXs), particulate matter/particle pollution, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are all mostly man-made and come from vehicle emissions. When VOCs and NOXs are combined with heat and sunlight (mostly during the summer), we get ground-level ozone. When ground-level ozone is mixed with particulate matter, we get smog. The majority of air pollution comes from tailpipes, so when you choose to share the ride, one is helping everyone breathe a little easier.