Albany, NY (WIBX) - The Department of Environmental Conservation and State Department of Health have issued an air quality health advisory for our area.

Starting at 11 a.m., a 12 hour ground level ozone advisory will take effect. Ground level ozone is caused mainly by car exhaust and should not be confused with the protective ozone in our atmosphere.

When combined with the thick summer air, ozone can irritate the lungs and trigger other health problems.

Lori Severino, with the DEC, says the best way to protect yourself is to stay indoors.

"We just encourage people, especially elderly people or young children or any people that have any kind of health issues like asthma or anything like that, to particularly be cautious when we put these ozone level advisories out," Severino said.

Severino also says people should limit strenuous activity, including exercise, especially during the afternoon and early evening.

Air quality health advisories are issued when the levels of pollution exceed the Air Quality Index value of 100.

For more information on ozone and for tips to reduce pollution levels, click here.