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  • Breathing Shouldn't Be Scary on Halloween

    Oct 31, 2019 | Read More News
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    Much to the delight of young ones (and the young at heart!) Halloween is here. With trick-or-treaters on our streets, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program suggests that instead of letting your vehicle engine idle while the kids are moving from house to house, you consider parking and walking to keep the air free from health-damaging vehicle emissions.

    Exhaust from idling vehicles is not good for anyone to breathe, particularly the lungs of young superheroes, princesses and zombies. Although invisible, vehicle exhaust can contain poisonous gases and chemicals including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene and soot.Youngster in Halloween Costume Breathing these fumes is particularly harmful for children because their lungs are not fully developed and they tend to be more active and breathe more rapidly than adults, so they inhale more of the toxic gases. Studies have linked various negative health outcomes in children exposed to vehicle pollution including: 
    Reduced lung function;
    Respiratory infection;
    Decreased cognitive performance; and
    Asthma and chronic respiratory symptoms.

    Contrary to popular belief, if you are going to be idling your vehicle for more than a short period, it makes financial, mechanical and air quality sense to turn your engine off (except in traffic). Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and emits more greenhouse gases than turning off and restarting the engine. You will also protect your car’s engine if you idle less because idling can cause damage to engine parts like cylinders, spark plugs and the exhaust system. 

    No matter if you are waiting for your favorite unicorn on Halloween or stopping by a fast food restaurant or bank, avoiding engine idling will help keep the air from getting scary to breathe. For more information, visit the idle reduction page at www.pima.gov/deq. 

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    Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) serves Pima County residents by protecting public health and the environment. PDEQ monitors air and water quality; provides hazardous and solid waste programs that ensures waste minimization and pollution prevention; assesses environmental compliance; processes environmental permits and plans; responds to public complaints and inquiries with investigations and enforcement; and reaches the community via public outreach, education, and citizens' assistance.