A National Weather Service code orange air quality alert has been issued for the Washington Metro region, including Reston.
The alert states that “air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups.” That includes children, asthma sufferers, the elderly, and those with heart and lung conditions.
Anyone outside of those groups are unlikely to experience any side effects.
For the sensitive groups, however, staying inside and avoiding exertion are the best ways to avoid air pollution effects, according to the alert.
A code orange is not an indication of the worst air quality. The color alert scale ranges from, in order of least to most harmful, green, yellow, orange, red, purple, and maroon.
The AQI, or air quality indicator, ranges from 0-500. Maroon would indicate the highest, most hazardous health concern, with an AQI of 301-500. The alert today (May 2), a code orange, indicates an AQI of 101-150.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Goff