Ozone air pollution advisory issued for Pima County

CREATED Jun. 22, 2011

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TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - For a second day in a row, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality has issued an advisory for ground-level ozone air pollution for the Tucson metropolitan area.

Any individuals who are sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort. PDEQ warns those who are sensitive to ozone to limit levels of exertion outside until 6:00 p.m., when elevated levels of ozone pollution are more likely to occur.

Intense physical outdoor activity causes faster and deeper breathing, which allows ozone to penetrate into the parts of the lungs that are more likely to be injured.

Children, adults who are active outdoors, people with respiratory diseases, and certain individuals who have an unusually sensitivity to this particular pollutant are most likely to be sensitive to ozone pollution.

There are many types of emissions that contribute to the creation of ground-level ozone. Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, as well as natural sources, emit oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds that form ozone in the presence of intense solar radiation. 

Actions to reduce the production of ground level ozone:

  • Reduce driving - combine errands into one trip.
  • Ride the bus, walk or share a ride with friends and family.
  • Avoid idling your vehicle's engine.  It wastes gas and causes air pollution.
  • During the summer, re-fuel your car after 6 p.m. when fumes are less likely to form ozone.
  • While re-fueling, never top off your gas tank and always stop at the click.
  • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling.
  • Avoid using gas powered lawn and gardening equipment.
  • Conserve electricity to reduce emissions from power plants.

Air pollution information is available online at the PDEQ website www.airinfonow.org or through the PDEQ telephone hotline at (520) 882-4AIR.