The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is forecasting an Ozone Advisory Day for Orleans, Jefferson, St John the Baptist, St Charles, St Bernard, St Tammany, and Plaquemines Parishes, in effect until midnight Sunday night.

The Air Quality Index indicates that ozone will be at the Orange level, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Increasing ozone levels may cause unhealthy air quality, especially during afternoon and early evening hours.

Officials say active children and adults, the elderly, and people with respiratory issues such as asthma or COPD should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion.

Please take whatever voluntary steps you can to reduce emissions that contribute to ozone formation. Drive less and make sure your automobile is in good working condition. Make sure your gas cap is tight. Wait until after 6 PM to refuel your vehicle and use gas powered lawn equipment.

LDEQ says area residents are encouraged to take one or more of the following voluntary actions to help reduce the formation of ozone:

• Drive less. Carpool, walk and bike, combine errands and care for your car. Be sure your gas cap is on tight.

• Refuel your vehicle, mow grass and use gas powered lawn equipment and off road vehicles after 6 p.m.

• Postpone chores that use oil based paint, varnishes and solvents that produce flame.

• If you barbecue, use an electric starter instead of starter fluid.

• Take your lunch to work or walk to lunch.

• Conserve energy in your home.