Phoenix, AZ

The explanation of ozone pollutants by Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

Victoria Nogales

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PHOENIX, AZ — The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality or ADEQ has released a High Pollution Advisory of ozone pollutants in the Phoenix area effective for July 16 and 17, 2021. The news can be accessed here https://ein.az.gov/emergency-information/emergency-bulletin/high-pollution-advisory-issued-ozone-effective-july-16-17?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter. Regarding the news, here is the explanation of ozone pollutant released by ADEQ.

Ozone is a colorless and odorless gas and is located in the atmosphere layers. It could be bad or good depending on which layer of the atmosphere the gas is located in. If it is in the stratosphere, it is beneficial since it protects us from ultraviolet rays from the sun. Meanwhile, it is harmful if it is at the ground level near where the humans live.

Ground-level ozone is made up of two types of pollutants, volatile organic compounds or VOCs and nitrogen oxides or NOx. VOCs and NOX are pollutants produced by vehicles, industries, power plants and home products such as solvents and paints.

The ozone gas is harmful to humans since it can lead to various respiratory problems such as coughing, breathing difficulty and even lung damage. The gas also makes our lungs more sensitive to various infection, aggravate lung disease and increase the frequency of asthma attacks and even death risk from heart or lung disease. There is a group that could be at a bigger risk of ozone exposures that include people with lung disease, children because their lungs are still developing, seniors and people who work outdoor.

Everyone especially residents of Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma are recommended checking air quality forecasts that could help to plan for outdoor activities. The forecast is based on the Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Index or AQI.

We can take our parts to reduce the ground-level ozone with less driving and utilize public transportation, and using low-VOC paint and cleaning products. It is also recommended to refuel the vehicle at night and keep the tire pressure at the recommended level.

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