As Air Quality Declines, Officials Suggest Switching to Propane Lawnmowers and Grills

Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, DC, all had heat indexes around 115 degrees this week. Such extreme temperatures often elevate ozone pollution problems. (image:

As droughts, climate change, and record-breaking heat waves take their toll this summer, a majority of states across the East Coast are experiencing dangerous declines in air quality. Emergency room visits have spiked with people suffering from respiratory flare-ups, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The dry, dirty air also inspired burn bans in multiple states prone to wildfires.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management estimated air quality would hit unhealthy levels earlier this week, primarily caused by an increase in ground level ozone concentrations, NBC reported this week. After issuing a reminder from Rhode Island’s chapter of the American Lung Association stating that “when you can’t breathe nothing else matters,” DoEM officials offered a few simple ways to reduce contributions to ground level ozone concentrations. The most important change you can make is to not drive your car, but there were a few other fuel-related suggestions as well. As you know, propane is an air pollutant, but a far cleaner option than gasoline.

• Limit barbecue emissions by using a propane grill instead of charcoal or wood.

• Obviously hand-powered equipment is best, but you can minimize lawn mower emissions by using propane-powered models. Also, keep them clean and maintained for optimum energy efficiency and only use them when necessary.

• Lastly, these aren’t fuels, but avoid using solvent-based household products. Opt for low solvent or water-based products when possible, especially items like paint, varnish, hygiene products, and cleaning solutions.

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