Pima County Department of Environmental Quality
Air Quality Advisory ~ Friday, June 16, 2017
The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality is issuing another ozone advisory today. There is a strong possibility that ozone levels will be elevated throughout the weekend and early next week as well.
Pima County, Ariz. – For the third day in a row, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is issuing an air quality advisory due to elevated levels of ground-level ozone air pollution in the Tucson metropolitan area. Yesterday’s levels were high enough to exceed the E.PA. health standard for ozone. Today’s readings are increasing by the hour.
Ozone levels may also be elevated for the next few days, as long as current weather conditions persist.
Individuals who are especially sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort. If sensitive to ozone, individuals may want to limit outside exertion until 6 p.m. when levels of ozone pollution should begin to decrease. Intense outdoor physical activity causes faster and deeper breathing, which allows ozone to penetrate into parts of the lungs that are more likely to be injured.
Those who tend to be more sensitive to ozone include children, adults who are active outdoors, people with respiratory diseases, and certain individuals who have an unusual sensitivity to this particular air pollutant. Individuals who are feeling symptoms should seek medical attention, if necessary.
There are many types of emissions that contribute to the creation of ground-level ozone. Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, as well as natural sources such as wildfires, emit oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds that form ozone in the presence of intense sunlight. The following are actions we can take to reduce the production of ground level ozone:
• Reduce driving - combine errands into one trip
• Ride the bus, bike, walk or share a ride with friends and family
• Avoid idling your vehicle’s engine. Refrain from long drive-thru lines; park and go inside instead
• Re-fuel your car after 6 p.m. when fumes are less likely to form ozone
• While re-fueling, always stop at the click
• Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling
• Check your tire pressure monthly to reduce gasoline use and associated pollution
• Use low VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers
• Avoid using gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment
• Conserve electricity to reduce emissions from power plants
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.