The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Dec. 22 & 23 for fine particulate matter (PM-2.5), also known as soot, for the Nogales area in Arizona. This HPA is due to particle pollutant levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for PM-2.5.
Particles in the PM-2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
ADEQ recommends that the general public limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, particularly people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children.
During this HPA, ADEQ encourages residents and businesses to use these tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:
- Avoid or limit 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)
- Avoid using leaf blowers
- Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads and using off-road vehicles
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute
ADEQ also urges businesses conducting dust-generating operations to be vigilant in their dust control measures.