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Air quality watch issued by Pima County

Posted at 5:34 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 07:10:13-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - An air quality watch has been issued by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality due to elevated levels of wind-generated particulate matter.

Beth Gorman, spokeswoman for the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, said if winds continue there is a possibility that dust levels may increase to unhealthy levels especially in areas where the land is disturbed.

Gorman stated in a press release, "Individuals with heart disease and respiratory sensitivities may want to reduce their level of exertion to decrease the amount of particulates they breathe into their lungs, especially if they are near dust-prone locations. Those most at risk may feel better if they avoid outside exercise this evening, stay inside as much as possible, and keep windows and doors closed to help reduce exposure to particulate matter."

She said particulate matter is made up of tiny specks of soot, dust and aerosols that are suspended in the air we breathe.  It can come from either combustion (cars, industry, fires) or dust from disturbed land that becomes airborne with high winds.   

Air pollution levels are available at www.pima.gov/deq. The public can also use that link to sign up to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices directly via email.