PHOENIX (April 19, 2021) – Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is encouraging county residents to help reduce harmful ground-level ozone pollution during the spring and summer months by participating in Maricopa County’s annual Ozone Campaign.
Ground-level ozone forms when emissions from vehicles, gasoline and diesel equipment, industrial and chemical processes, and other everyday activities react to sunlight. Because these emissions react more readily to sunlight, ozone pollution is more prevalent during the spring and summer months.
Although some people are more sensitive than others, all county residents can be affected by ground-level ozone pollution, which is harmful to lungs and can trigger asthma. Children are at the greatest risk from ozone because their lungs are still developing, they are most likely to be active outdoors, and they are more likely than adults to have asthma. Adults with asthma or other lung diseases and older adults are also sensitive to ozone.
The current ozone federal heath standard is 70 parts per billion. In 2020, Maricopa County experienced 38 days of ozone high pollution advisory alerts and exceeded the ozone federal health standard 34 times.
“Although Maricopa County has achieved significant improvements in overall air quality over the last decade, including lower ozone levels, the valley still exceeds the EPA’s ozone air quality standards.” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “The hot, sunny days in the spring and summer months are the perfect conditions to create high ozone levels. We can’t control the weather, but we can have a positive impact in improving the quality of the air we breathe through taking simple actions each day to reduce ozone pollution.”
In order to reduce the negative impacts of ground-level ozone pollution on everyone, MCAQD and the Board of Supervisors are urging residents to Commit to One Day and Help Keep Ozone Away.
“I am encouraging everyone to help reduce ground-level ozone by making simple changes at least one day a week. Whether that’s teleworking, taking light rail or the bus, refueling after dark, or riding a bike to work, everyone has a role to play in reducing air pollution and helping to keep our air clean,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1.
To learn more about MCAQD’s Commit to One Day campaign or to sign up to receive air quality updates by email or text message, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
Ozone pollution prevention tips:
- Promote remote. Telework to reduce traffic.
- Drive less. When possible, carpool, van pool or use public transportation.
- Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines. Park your car and go inside.
- Ride your bike or walk to work.
- Refuel your vehicle after dark or during cooler evening hours.
- Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
- Delay painting projects until high pollution advisories or health watches have passed.
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About Maricopa County Air Quality Department
MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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