NEWARK, NJ - The Environment Protection Agency issued an air quality warning for Monday July 2. The air quality is determined to be 'VERY UNHEALTHY.'

The Environmental Protection Agency has an air monitoring station in the Newark area that tests for things like ozone. The reading taken this afternoon showed an air quality index (AQI) of 206. That reading is considered very unhealthy.

According to the report, active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion. Everyone else, especially children, should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

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On sunny and hot days, heat and sunlight react with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides emitted by internal combustion engines like automobiles, trucks and gasoline powered lawn equipment. These mix to form a ground-level layer of ozone, also known as smog. 

When inhaled, even at very low levels, ozone can cause acute respiratory problems, aggravate asthma, result in a 14-20 percent decrease in lung capacity for healthy adults, cause inflammation of lung tissue, lead to increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits and impair the body’s immune system defenses, making more people susceptible to respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.