The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for ozone in Maricopa County, effective Aug. 19, 2018. This HPA is due to levels expected to exceed the federal health standard for ozone.
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.
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.
ADEQ, Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and Valley Metro recommend residents and businesses use the following tips and resources to reduce ozone pollution and make the air healthier to breathe:
- Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute
- Re-fuel your vehicle after dark
- Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants or banks – park your car and go inside
- Visit valleymetro.org and ShareTheRide.com to plan a transit trip or find a carpool or vanpool
- Use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers – delay big painting projects
- Make sure containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air
- Visit cleanairmakemore.com to learn more about reducing air pollution
- 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
- Ozone: Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction among sunlight, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and VOCs