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  • Air Quality Health Watch for Green Valley

    Oct 11, 2018 | Read More News
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    Air qualityThe Pima County Department of Environmental Quality is issuing an air quality health watch for possible elevated levels of particulate matter in the Green Valley area of Pima County. On October 6th and 7th, the air quality monitors in the Green Valley area recorded several hours when particulate matter readings were very high. This coincided with winds blowing from the south/southwest. Weather forecasts indicate that, beginning around noon today, sustained wind speeds from the southwest could be 10-15 miles per hour (mph) with gusts to 25 mph prior to any rain that may occur later tonight. Other dust-prone parts of Pima County could also be affected if recent rains did not settle the soil.

    Individuals with heart disease and respiratory disease, children, older adults and active individuals who are outside should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion to decrease the amount of particulates they breathe into their lungs. Small particles can travel into the respiratory system and cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. If they are in dust-prone areas, those most at risk may feel better if they avoid outside exercise and keep windows and doors closed to help reduce exposure to particulate matter. 

    Particulate matter is made up of tiny specks of soot, dust, and aerosols that are suspended in the air we breathe. Particulate matter can come from disturbed land, dirt roads, construction and mining activity and becomes airborne with high winds. Small particulate matter can also come from combustion sources such as cars, industry, and indoor and outdoor fires. 

    PDEQ monitors air pollution in our region at 16 air quality monitoring sites in eastern Pima County. Up-to-the-hour air pollution levels are available in the air monitoring section of the PDEQ website. Individuals can sign up to receive Air Quality Advisories and other Pima County Department of Environmental Quality notices via email. In addition, individuals can sign up to receive the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality provides 5-Day Air Quality Forecasts for Pima County.