So far, the weather in June has been mild, but when it warms up Louisville will likely face problems with its air quality. Bad air days have been frequent over the past few summers; last year there were 23 days when the air quality exceeded healthy ozone levels.

Air Pollution Control District spokesman Tom Nord says there are a number of factors that contribute to ozone.

“Ozone doesn’t come out of a smokestack, it doesn’t come out of a tailpipe, it’s a combination of all these pollutants from the cars, from the factories, and whatever getting cooked by the sun forming this irritant,” Nord said.

As the summer heats up, air quality alert days will likely become more frequent, and high levels of ozone could cause health problems for children, the elderly and people with heart or lung conditions.

But the air quality in Louisville is still better than it used to be.

“Our air is much cleaner today in Louisville in the summer than it was in, say 1995, but it’s never going to be clean enough, we’re always fighting to get to that next level,” Nord said.

Louisvillians can help reduce air pollution by not idling vehicles, avoiding filling up gas tanks during the high heat of the day, combining errands, and using alternative transportation when possible, Nord says.

(Image via Shutterstock)