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  • Wind-blown particles block mountain views

    Apr 17, 2018 | Read More News
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    Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) reports that strong winds throughout southern California and Arizona caused elevated levels of particulate matter in Pima County that are currently obscuring the view of the mountains.hazy sky

    According to meteorologists at the National Weather Service and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the winds caused a widespread area of blowing dust to move into Pima County overnight. The haze should clear later this morning and particulate levels will end up in the Good AQI range by the end of the day. At this time, particulate levels are not high enough for PDEQ to issue an air quality advisory; however, unusually sensitive individuals may want to limit their exposure to outside air until the particles settle out.
    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. If they are in dust-prone areas, those most at risk may feel better if they avoid outside exercise 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 disturbed land, dirt roads, construction and mining activity and becomes airborne with high winds. Small particulate matter can also come from combustion sources such as cars, industry, and indoor and outdoor 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. Individuals can sign up to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices via email. In addition, individuals can sign up to receive the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality provides 5-Day Air Quality Forecasts for Pima County.