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High Pollution Advisory issued for Tucson metro area

Pima County recommends limiting outdoor actvity from noon to 6 p.m.
Tucson Downtown
Posted at 11:54 AM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 14:54:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) has issued a ground-level ozone air pollution advisory today, May 6 for the greater Tucson area.

People with an ozone sensitivity can include include children, adults who are active outdoors and people with respiratory diseases, according to PDEQ, and should limit outdoor physical activity between noon and 6 p.m., when ozone levels are expected to be highest.

"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," the department shared.

Respiratory symptoms from ground-level ozone exposure can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • coughing
  • throat irritation
  • wheezing
  • breathing discomfort

Higher daily ozone concentrations of ground-level ozone may also be associated with increased asthma attacks, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

PDEQ shared actions individuals can take to reduce ground-level ozone pollution such as:

  • Reduce driving - combine errands into one trip.
  • Ride the bus, walk, bike, 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 vapors are less likely to form ozone.
  • While re-fueling, always stop at the click.
  • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling.
  • Avoid using gas powered lawn and gardening equipment.
  • Check your tire pressure monthly to reduce gasoline use and associated pollution.
  • Conserve electricity to reduce emissions from power plants.

To monitor air quality in the Tucson area, residents can check the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website.

Anne Simmons is the digital executive producer for KGUN 9. Anne got her start in television while still a student at the University of Arizona. Before joining KGUN, she managed multiple public access television stations in the Bay Area and has worked as a video producer in the non-profit sector. Share your story ideas and important issues with Anne by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.