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Pima County Department of Environmental Quality issues air pollution health watch

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Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 20:14:36-04

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality issued an air pollution health watch Tuesday due to fire smoke from the Bighorn Fire and Tortolita Fire.

According to information from PDEQ, monitors have recorded elevated levels of particulate matter and ozone in certain areas of Tucson. If the fires continue, there is a chance of poor air quality in areas downwind of the fires.

Children, older adults and individuals with lung or heart diseases are advised to be cautious, and if they can smell smoke they are breathing smoke, according to PDEQ. These at-risk individuals are encouraged to decrease levels of activity, and avoid outdoor activities to reduce the amount of particulates they breathe in.

According to PDEQ, wildfire smoke can irritate the eyes, the respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.

PDEQ recommends closing doors and windows, and running air conditioners with fresh air-intake, which can help prevent smoke from getting inside.

To find up-to-the-hour air pollution levels visit the PDEQ website.

The public can also sign up to receive air quality advisories.