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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day has been declared in the Pittsburgh area.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the alert is in effect for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties today.

With temperatures expected to climb into the 90s, ozone levels could be hazardous to some people.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

An “orange” air quality level signifies unhealthy air pollution levels for young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems — such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

On air quality action days, you should try to carpool, reduce vehicular travel, wait until after dusk to get gas and set your air conditioner thermostat to a higher temperature.

For more information, visit dep.pa.gov.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Meanwhile, Allegheny County officials say there are things you can do to prevent heat-related illnesses.

For example, drink plenty of water, even if you aren’t thirsty. You can also keep cool with wet towels and cold showers.

Other helpful tips include:

  • Keep your home cool by closing blinds and curtains and opening windows when there is a breeze
  • Stay out of the sun during hottest times of day
  • Seek shade if you do have to be outside
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing outside

Officials are also asking residents to check on their elderly neighbors as hot temperatures are expected to stick around for a few days.