Cold weather brings unhealthy air in central Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The frigid winter weather in central Ohio is causing an unexpected problem — unhealthy air.

Authorities say the cold, stagnant air is trapping and concentrating pollution across central Ohio. That has led the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission to issue a soot alert that will run through Thursday.

That means older people, children and those with breathing disorders should limit strenuous or prolonged outdoor activities. The alert is for Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking and Madison counties.

Planning commission spokeswoman Evelyn Ebert says light winds, low temperatures and high pressure worked together to force soot closer to the ground. She says it hasn't happened since February 2009.

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