TUCSON, Ariz. -- New Year celebrations may have come and gone, but it left an hours-long effect on the air quality across southern Arizona.
The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality predicted NYE celebrations would cause the air quality levels to spike to unhealthy levels. PDEQ says several stations reported elevated levels of small particulate matter, most likely due to fireworks and wood burning activities.
A graph shared by PDEQ shows Rose Elementary and the Geronimo sites had the highest levels of particulate matter. A site in Green Valley had the lowest readings on New Year's Eve.
PDEQ says particulate matter (2.5 microns or less in size) comes from combustion sources and can bypass the body’s natural filter systems and gather deep in the lungs impairing breathing in those at risk.