PHOENIX (May 09, 2022) – Every spring and summer season, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) raises awareness about the harmful effects of ground-level ozone on air quality and the health of Maricopa County residents. MCAQD challenges everyone to commit to one day a week and take action towards reducing air pollution in the Valley.
Many have heard about “good” ozone which rises into the upper layer of the atmosphere and creates a protective layer against UV rays. Ground-level or “bad” ozone, however, remains near the surface where it can be easily inhaled by humans. This type of ozone forms when emissions from vehicles, gasoline and diesel equipment, industrial and chemical processes, and other everyday activities react to sunlight. Ozone pollution is more prevalent during the sunny spring and summer months.
Breathing ozone can trigger or worsen a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, and more. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue. 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.
"Every one of us can have a positive impact on the quality of the air we breathe in Maricopa County, from the types of products we buy to the way we get around town," said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. "This campaign is about something bigger than any individual--it's about improving the quality of life for all residents, especially children and those with breathing difficulties whose wellbeing depends on clean air."
To reduce the negative impacts of ground-level ozone pollution, MCAQD is urging residents to Commit to One Day and Help Keep Ozone Away!
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 have passed.
MCAQD Director, Philip McNeely explains, “Through education, regulation, incentive programs, and community action, MCAQD has seen a reduction in air pollution in Maricopa County. However, we need everyone to do their part to reduce ground-level ozone this summer. Simple changes to daily habits, such as fueling after dark, carpooling, or teleworking can make a significant impact towards cleaner air.”
To learn more about MCAQD’s Commit to One Day campaign or to sign up to receive air quality updates, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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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