ADEQ Issues PM-2.5 High Pollution Advisory for Nogales Effective Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, & Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017

Press Release
Air Quality
Publication Date: 
Friday, December 30, 2016
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, and Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), also known as soot, for the Nogales area in Arizona. This HPA is due to particle pollutant levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for PM2.5.
 
Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs and can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.
 
ADEQ recommends that the general public limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, particularly people with heart or lung diseases, older adults  and children.
During this HPA, ADEQ encourages residents and businesses to use these tips and resources to help make the air healthier to breathe:
  • Avoid or limit wood burning in residential fireplaces, chimineas, outdoor fire pits and similar outdoor fires (including at hotels and restaurants and individuals/businesses that have permits for open burning) 
  • Avoid using leaf blowers 
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads and using off-road vehicles 
  • Drive as little as possible, carpool, use public transit or telecommute 
ADEQ also urges businesses conducting dust-generating operations to be vigilant in their dust control measures.
 

Background

High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to exceed the federal health standard. 
Health Watch: Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to approach the federal health standard. 
Particulate Matter: State and county agencies measure levels of particulate matter (PM) in the air. PM is extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets that circulate in air. PM comes from combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM occur when air is especially stagnant or windy. Two types of PM are measured: PM10, commonly called dust, and PM2.5, commonly called soot. PM10 refers to dust particles 10 microns or less and PM2.5 to soot particles 2.5 microns or less. For perspective, one strand of human hair is 70 – 100 microns in size. 
 

Resources

ADEQ provides a daily forecast for Nogales area air quality and issues HPAs or Health Watches when these conditions are expected.
ADEQ Nogales area air quality forecast | View >
Receive ADEQ air quality forecasts via email and/or text message | Sign up >
Get real-time Nogales area air quality information and health alerts, as well as tips about actions you can take to protect your health and prevent air pollution. Download the free Air Nogales App on your smartphone | Google Play > iTunes >
Contact: ADEQ Public Information Officer – 602-771-2215 desk/602-540-8072 cell