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Air quality in Indianapolis, IN

Our guide to understanding the Air Quality Index.

View of hazy Indy skyline from downtown office building

On June 28, 2023, Indianapolis’ air quality was mentioned as one of the worst in the world next to Dubai, according to WISH-TV.

Photo by @kay.daye

Table of Contents

A heavy layer of haze caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires has prompted a series of Air Quality Advisories for Indianapolis and a significant portion of Central Indiana.

The City of Indianapolis declared yesterday through the rest of the day today (Thursday, June 29), “Knozone Action Days,” meaning the air is considered unhealthy + Hoosiers should avoid time outdoors as much as possible.

Thursday’s Knozone Action Day will mark the 12th declaration so far in Indianapolis this year.

Weather graphic showing Indianapolis air quality scale for June 2023

The Indianapolis Office of Sustainability encourages sensitive groups to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors on Knozone Air Quality Action Days.

Graphic via WTHR

Health risks

Fine particle pollutants can deeply penetrate the lungs. Exposure has been linked to worsened asthma, respiratory issues, and premature death in individuals with heart or lung disease.

Stay/get inside if you’re experiencing:

  • Labored breathing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Scratchy throat

Vulnerable individuals — people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children — are especially advised to limit outdoor activities, and reduce strenuous exertion.

What you can do

To help our air quality, the Indy Office of Sustainability has some tips, including:

  • Choose a cleaner commute (walking, biking) or work from home if you’re able to.
  • Wait to refuel your vehicle until the air is cool.
  • Delay using gas-powered lawn equipment.
  • Refrain from idling by avoiding heavy traffic times.
  • Delay using household and workshop chemicals.
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