PDEQ issues ozone air pollution action day
The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) is issuing a ground-level Ozone Action Day for the Tucson metropolitan area today. Individuals who are especially sensitive to ozone air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing, and breathing discomfort.
If you are especially sensitive to ozone, you may want to limit your level of exertion outside between noon and 6 p.m. when elevated levels of ozone pollution are more likely to occur. Intense physical outdoor activity causes heavier breathing, which allows ozone to penetrate deeper in the lungs.
Those who are most likely to be 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 pollutant. Those people who are feeling symptoms should seek medical attention, if necessary.
There are many types of emissions that generate ground-level ozone. Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, as well as natural sources, emit oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) that form ozone in the presence of intense sunlight and heat.
Actions to reduce the production of ground level ozone:
PDEQ’s Clean Air Program educates Pima County residents about the potential health effects associated with elevated levels of air pollution and promotes actions to reduce air pollution.
PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 16 air quality monitoring sites. Real-time air pollution levels are available online at the PDEQ website.
To receive Air Pollution Action Day advisories, sign up here.
To receive Arizona Department of Environmental Quality air quality forecasts, sign up here.