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  • DEQ issues air quality advisory for particulates and ozone

    Jul 07, 2017 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is issuing an air quality advisory due to the potential for elevated levels of particulate matter from Burro Fire wildfire smoke this weekend. According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance winds may bring fire smoke north of River Road up through the Oracle Junction/Saddlebrooke area and out through Marana, especially during Saturday evening hours. 
    Know that the presence of smoke can be highly localized and might not be captured by PDEQ’s air quality monitors. We are also currently seeing slightly elevated levels of ground-level ozone. Sensitive individuals may want to keep a watch of pollutant levels on our website.
    PDEQ encourages individuals to take caution and know if they smell smoke, they are breathing smoke. Individuals with heart and respiratory disease, children, pregnant women and the elderly are especially vulnerable to smoke exposure, although healthy individuals can also be affected. If individuals can smell smoke they may want to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors to decrease the amount of particulates they breathe into their lungs. 

    Staying inside as much as possible, and keeping windows and doors closed can also help reduce exposure to particulate matter.
    Updates to the Burro Fire can be found at: www.facebook.com/BurroFireInfo, www.twitter.com/burrofireinfo, and https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5301/.

    Use PDEQ’s visibility method to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.
    Particulate matter is made up of tiny solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air we breathe. Small particles from smoke can travel into the respiratory system and cause short-term health effects including eye and respiratory tract irritation to more serious problems including reduced lung function, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, exacerbation of asthma, heart failure and premature death.

    PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 16 air quality monitoring stations. Up-to-the-hour air pollution levels are available in the air monitoring section of the PDEQ website at www.pima.gov/deq. The public can sign up here to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices directly via email.