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  • Pima DEQ issues air-quality advisory

    Jul 29, 2016 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is issuing an air quality advisory due to elevated levels of ground-level ozone air pollution in the Tucson metropolitan area.  

    Individuals who are especially sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort.  It is possible that ozone levels may be elevated this weekend, as well, if weather conditions are similar. 

    If you are especially sensitive to ozone, you may want to limit outside exertion in the afternoon when elevated levels of ozone pollution are more likely to occur. Intense outdoor physical activity causes faster and deeper breathing, which allows ozone to penetrate into parts of the lungs that are more likely to be injured.

    Those who are most likely to be sensitive to ozone include children, adults who are active outdoors, people with respiratory diseases, and certain individuals who have an unusual sensitivity to this particular pollutant. Those people who are feeling symptoms should seek medical attention, if necessary.

    There are many types of emissions that contribute to the creation of ground-level ozone. Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, as well as natural sources, emit oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds that form ozone in the presence of intense sunlight and heat.  

    Actions to reduce the production of ground level ozone:

    • Reduce driving - combine errands into one trip.
    • Ride the bus, bike, walk or share a ride with friends and family.
    • Avoid idling your vehicle’s engine. Refrain from long drive-thru lines - park and go inside.
    • During the summer, re-fuel your car after 6 p.m. when fumes are less likely to form ozone.
    • While re-fueling, always stop at the click.
    • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling.
    • Check your tire pressure monthly to reduce gasoline use and associated pollution.
    • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment.
    • Conserve electricity to reduce emissions from power plants.

    PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 17 air quality monitoring sites. Up-to-the-hour air pollution levels are available in the air monitoring section of the PDEQ website. The public can sign up here to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices directly via email.