The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Tuesday and Wednesday, August 7-8, for ozone and coarse particulate matter (PM-10) in Maricopa County. These HPAs are due to ozone and particle pollutant levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for ozone and PM-10.
Employers and Travel Reduction Program Transportation Coordinators are advised to activate their HPA Plans immediately. ADEQ further recommends that the general public limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.
People most affected by ozone include children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with pre-existing respiratory disease. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, aggravate asthma and reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off respiratory infections. Ozone-related health problems include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, plus throat and lung irritation. PM-10 particles are so small they are able to travel into the respiratory tract where they can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to these particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
During this HPA, the following mandatory restrictions are in effect in Maricopa County:
- Use of leaf blowers on governmental properties
- Use of off-road vehicles
- Wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits, and similar outdoor fires (including at hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning)
ADEQ, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and Valley Metro encourage residents and employers to use the following tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:
- Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit, or telecommute
- Visit cleanairmakemore.com to learn more about reducing air pollution
- Visit valleymetro.org and ShareTheRide.com to plan a transit trip or find a carpool or vanpool
- High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to exceed the federal health standard.
- Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to approach the federal health standard.
- Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM10, commonly called dust, and PM2.5, commonly called soot. PM10 refers to dust particles 10 microns or less and PM2.5 to soot particles 2.5 microns or less. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70-100 microns in size.
- Ozone: Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction among sunlight, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and VOCs
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The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) provides a daily forecast for air quality and issues HPAs or Health Watches when these conditions exist. Please visit azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/ensemble.pdf for tomorrow’s forecast or SUBSCRIBE to receive air quality forecasts via email and/or text message.
CONTACT: Erin Jordan – 602-771-2215 desk/602-540-8072 cell
The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website: CleanAirMakeMore.com
CONTACT: Bob Huhn - 602-506-6713 (desk) | 602-526-7307 (mobile)
Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues; and administered by a board of 16 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system. Please visit valleymetro.org to learn more.
CONTACT: Corinne Holliday – 602-322-4492 desk/623-293-0335 cell