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  • Pima DEQ issues air quality advisory

    Dec 21, 2017 | 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 particulate matter in eastern Pima County. According to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, a regional dust plume from California, Nevada and western Arizona was transported to our area early this morning. PDEQ monitors are currently recording elevated levels of particulate matter; however, clearing is anticipated with daytime mixing and breezes. Higher particulate levels might return in the morning hours as cold weather persists.
    With cold weather forecasted today and tomorrow, smoke from fireplace fires might become a concern. PDEQ reminds residents to avoid or reduce fireplace fires when possible, especially during periods of elevated air pollution levels, and to burn hard woods like oak, pecan or mesquite, which burn hotter and cleaner than softer woods such as pine.
    Unusually sensitive people, including individuals with heart disease and respiratory sensitivities, may want to consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion to decrease the amount of particulates they breathe into their lungs. Small particles can travel into the respiratory system and cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Those most at risk may feel better if they avoid outside exercise, stay inside as much as possible, and keep windows and doors closed to help reduce exposure to particulate matter.
    Particulate matter is made up of tiny specks of soot, dust, and aerosols that are suspended in the air we breathe. Particulate matter can come from dust from disturbed land that becomes airborne with high winds and also from combustion sources such as cars, industry, and indoor and outside fires.
    PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 16 air quality monitoring sites in eastern Pima County. Up-to-the-hour air pollution levels are available in the air monitoring section of the PDEQ website at www.pima.gov/deq. Individuals can sign up to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices directly via email at here