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High ozone levels likely Thursday

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued an Air Quality Action Day and is forecasting high ozone levels for Thursday in La Porte, St. Joseph and Elkhart counties in Michiana.

IDEM says if you are sensitive to changes in air quality, you could be affected by the high ozone levels.

Children, the elderly and anyone with heart or lung conditions should avoid or reduce exertion or heavy work outdoors on Thursday.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather bake vehicle exhaust, factory emissions and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties, according to IDEM.

Because the Environmental Protection Agency set more stringent standards, there could be an increase in air quality action days in 2016, according to IDEM.

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