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  • April 29 through May 4 is National Air Quality Awareness Week

    Apr 29, 2019 | Read More News
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    The air makes it possible to smell the creosote after a rain, fill tires and basketballs, fly kites, hear music and, of course, breathe.  The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program encourages everyone to think about the air during National Air Quality Awareness Week and take actions to improve air quality. 
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    “Air is so critical to our lives and yet it is often taken for granted” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager for PDEQ. “Air Quality Awareness Week is a time to consider how our daily actions impact air quality and make positive changes to improve the health of our air,” Gorman said.
     
    In honor of Air Quality Awareness Week, individuals willing to make a change in their transportation habits by driving less can take PDEQ’s “Healthy Air Is In Our Hands” Drive-Less pledge for a chance to win a $100 gift card.
     
    Increase your air awareness and improve air quality by considering the following: 
    • We take about 20,000 breaths and “consume” approximately 3,000 gallons of air every day. 
    • The life-sustaining air surrounding our planet is limited. It’s about 6 miles deep – from “A” Mountain to Reid Park. If the earth was an apple, the depth of the atmosphere would be similar to the apple’s skin. 
    • The majority of the air pollution in Pima County is caused by motor vehicle use. By choosing one day a week to drive less and share rides, bike, take transit, or walk more, we can have healthier air to breathe. 
    • During the summer, refueling our vehicles in the evening prevents gas fumes from reacting in the sunlight and combining with other pollutants to form ground-level ozone.  Securely tightening the gas cap reduces harmful vapor loss and saves money. 
    • If you are going to be idling your vehicle for more than 10 seconds, it makes financial, mechanical and air quality sense to turn your engine off – except in traffic! Avoid drive-thru lanes by parking and going inside. 
    • Properly inflated tires last longer, reduce drag, and save gasoline. Check your tires once a month and add air when needed. 
    • Emissions are highest when a vehicle is started "cold" and after it sits and cools down for more than an hour. By combining errands into one trip, you reduce cold starts and help keep the air healthy. 
    • Spilling gasoline causes ozone-producing fumes. Stop at the “click” when you refuel your vehicle to save money, prevent drips and spills, and help keep the air healthy!
     
    Real-time air quality is available at PDEQ’s website and 5-Day Air Quality Forecasts for the Tucson area are available from Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.