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  • New Year's Eve Activities Could Increase Air Pollution

    Dec 30, 2019 | Read More News
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    As the crystal ball drops in Times Square, so might the quality of our air in Tucson. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is forecasting moderate air pollution levels for several hours during New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. “During that chilly night and early morning, there will be more fireplaces in use which, along with celebratory fireworks, will increase the amount of particulate matter in the air,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager at Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ). The hours around midnight are forecasted to be in the moderate range. But when averaged in with the 24 hourly readings of each of those days, the overall Air Quality Index is expected to remain in the good range. 
    In 2010 a state law went into effect that allows the sales of fireworks in Arizona. Since then, air quality analysts at PDEQ have noticed increases in levels of particulate matter on New Year’s Eve. 

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems, especially in those most at risk. 

    Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:
    premature death in people with heart or lung disease; nonfatal heart attacks; irregular heartbeat; aggravated asthma; decreased lung function; and increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing. 

    People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure. Up-to-the-hour air quality information is available on the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s website. 

    Check out the fun video about celebrating the New Year with less air pollution.