Sponsored by

Local

Ozone level in Tucson provokes 3rd air advisory in 8 days

Air pollution in the Tucson metro area hit harmful levels on Wednesday, prompting an advisory from the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality that residents should avoid intense physical outdoor activity. The air-quality announcement is the third on eight days after a week in July that saw two, bring the total forthe month to four in a summer marked by wildfires. 

State forecasts for Tucson show that high levels of ground-level ozone, the air pollutant triggering the advisory,  are likely to return on Thursday as well, and PDEQ officials said they warning may do so if the weather conditions are similar.

“Individuals who are especially sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort,” county officials said.

The advisory suggests limiting levels of exertion outside between noon and 6 p.m., especially for anyone sensitive to air pollution in general.

Ground-level ozone commonly comes from car exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions and volatile organic compounds, or hydrocarbons, that react with heat and sunlight, PDEQ said.

People who might 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, PDEQ said. Anyone feeling symptoms should seek medical attention, the advisory warns.

According to the advisory, intense physical outdoor activity also allows ozone to penetrate into parts of the lungs more likely to be injured.

PDEQ recommended the following actions to reduce adding to ground-level air pollution:

TucsonSentinel.com relies on contributions from our readers to support our reporting on Tucson's civic affairs. Donate to TucsonSentinel.com today!
If you're already supporting us, please encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues and customers to help support quality local independent journalism.

  • Reduced driving and combining errands.
  • Avoid leaving the engine running.
  • Refuel cars after 6 p.m. when vapors are less likely to form air-pollutants like ozone.
  • Always stop at the click when refueling.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment.
  • Check tire pressure monthly to reduce gas use.
  • Conserve electricity to reduce emissions from power plants.

Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member.

- 30 -
have your say   

Comments

There are no comments on this report. Sorry, comments are closed.

Sorry, we missed your input...

You must be logged in or register to comment

Read all of TucsonSentinel.com's
coronavirus reporting here »

Click image to enlarge

Pima County

A hot, hazy day in August 2020