SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The entire State of Illinois is currently under an air quality alert due to increased ground-level ozone, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced.

IEPA officials issued for both Friday and Saturday an air quality forecast of “orange” or “unhealthy for sensitive groups” due to the ozone. They said ground-level ozone is formed when emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the presence of sunlight. The organic compounds, they added, originate from vehicles, power plants and other industrial sources.

Weather on Friday is warm, dry and sunny, and increasing drought conditions are also contributing to the ozone, officials said.

These air quality conditions, officials said, pose a potential health hazard to sensitive populations, including people with respiratory or pulmonary disorders. Possible symptoms related to sensitive groups impacted by low air quality including coughing or shortness of breath.

People in general are advised to use caution whenever outdoors, staying cool and limiting their physical activity. Sensitive individuals are advised to take special precautions and follow their physician-prescribed regimen.

Businesses and people are also encouraged to take steps that can reduce air pollution, like taking public transportation, consolidating errands if driving, reducing energy demands and avoiding the use of gasoline-powered equipment.