The Main Stream

Jun 15, 2010 2:40 PM

Air pollution advisory issued for Tucson

TUCSON - Pima County Department of Environmental Quality and the American Lung Association of Southern Arizona are issuing an advisory for ground-level ozone air pollution for the Tucson metropolitan area.

Individuals who are especially sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort. It is possible that ozone levels may be elevated tomorrow if conditions are similar.

If you are especially sensitive to ozone, you may want to limit your level of exertion outside between noon and 6:00 p.m. Tuesday when elevated levels of ozone pollution are more likely to occur. For example, try walking instead of running for exercise. 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.

Those who are most likely to be sensitive to ozone include children, adults who are active outdoors, people with respiratory diseases, and certain individuals who have an unusually sensitivity to this particular pollutant. Those people who are feeling symptoms should seek medical attention, if necessary.

Motor vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions, gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, as well as natural sources, emit oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds that form ozone in the presence of intense solar radiation.

PDEQ and the American Lung Association are working together to educate Pima County residents about potential health effects associated with elevated levels of air pollution and to promote actions to reduce air pollution levels.

Air pollution information is available online at the PDEQ website www.airinfonow.org or through the PDEQ telephone hotline at (520) 882-4AIR. PDEQ staff can be reached at (520) 243-7446.

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