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  • Check Air Pollution Levels Before Celebrating Outdoors

    Dec 31, 2015 | Read More News
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    fireworksPima County, Ariz. (December 31, 2015) – People who are sensitive to smoke and other air pollutants may want to check the air before heading outside during New Year’s celebrations.

    The smoke from fireplaces and fireworks can cause breathing challenges for those who are sensitive to air pollution. Pima County Department of Environmental Quality monitors for various air pollutants 24-hours a day at 17 different monitoring locations throughout eastern Pima County. 

    Historically, PDEQ staff have noticed a New Year’s Eve rise in one air pollutant called “PM2.5,” which stands for particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or smaller. This pollutant tends to come from combustion-related sources such as smoke from fires. Human exposure to PM2.5 is linked to a variety of health problems.

    People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.

    “We are fortunate that our background air pollution levels are low enough that these temporary increases in particulate matter shouldn’t cause us to have to implement ‘no-burn or no-fireworks days’ or to violate EPA health standards,” Beth Gorman, senior program manager, said.

    “The Phoenix and Nogales areas often have air quality problems around this holiday, but so far, our air quality in Pima County has stayed within the healthy range. However, people who are sensitive may want to stay away from smoky and fireworks-prone areas over the holiday.” 

    Real-time PDEQ air quality monitoring data is available on-line