Try not to breathe today

Plenty of heat and sunshine today, coupled with millions of internal combustion engines, will generate some pretty nasty pollution in the air we're breathing. Code Orange air quality alerts have been issued for the entire region - from Northern Virginia to Cecil County, Md., and from the Chesapeake west to Frederick County - until 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The Maryland Department of the Environment said the Code Orange alert means the air pollution levels will be unhealthy for sensitive groups. Those groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or lung diseases, and the elderly.

"The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors," the alert states. You can track the deterioration in our air quality this afternoon by clicking here.

Conditions are even worse in parts of Maine, where smoke from forest fires in Quebec have degraded air quality to Code Red Alert levels.

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