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  • National Air Quality Awareness Week is here

    Apr 29, 2016 | Read More News
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    PosterThe air makes it possible to smell the creosote after a rain, fill tires and basketballs, fly kites, make music and, of course, breathe.  

    Breathing healthy air is important, and the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program is encouraging everyone to celebrate the wonders of our atmosphere during National Air Quality Awareness Week, May 2 through May 6, and take action to protect air quality.

    “Air is so critical to our lives and yet it is often taken for granted” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager for PDEQ. “Air Quality Awareness Week is a time to consider how our daily actions impact air quality and make positive changes to improve air quality and the health of everyone who breathes,” Gorman said. 

    In a special promotion, individuals willing to make a change in their transportation habits by driving less can take PDEQ’s “Healthy Air Is In Our Hands” Drive-Less pledge for a chance to win a $100 gift card. 

    Increase your air awareness and improve air quality by considering the following tips and actions:

    • The amount of life-sustaining air surrounding our planet is limited. It is about 6 miles deep – from “A” Mountain to Reid Park. If the earth was an apple, the depth of the atmosphere would be similar to the apple’s skin. 
    • The air we breathe contains only about 21 percent oxygen. Most of our atmosphere is nitrogen (about 78 percent) with argon and other gases making up the rest.
    • We take about 20,000 breaths and “consume” approximately 3,000 gallons of air every day.
    • The majority of the air pollution in Pima County is caused by motor vehicle use. By choosing one day a week to drive less and share rides, bike, take transit, or walk more, we can have healthier air to breathe.
    • During the summer, refueling our vehicles during the evening prevents gas fumes from heating up in the sunlight and combining with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone.  Securely tightening the gas cap reduces harmful vapor loss and saves money.
    • Emissions are highest when a vehicle is started "cold" and after it sits and cools down for more than an hour. By combining errands into one trip, you reduce cold starts and help keep the air healthy.
    • Properly inflated tires last longer, reduce drag, and save gasoline. Check your tires once a month and add air when needed.
    • Spilling gasoline causes ozone-producing fumes. Stop at the “click” when you refuel your vehicle to save money, prevent drips and spills, and help keep the air healthy!