PRESS RELEASE | Celebrate Air Quality Awareness week and help improve air quality one action at a time

PHOENIX (April 30, 2018) – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is celebrating Air Quality Awareness Week April 30 to May 4, 2018. While there have been improvements in air quality over the last 40 years, Arizona still faces challenges. Weather and climate are big factors in our air quality, but each person can make a difference in reducing air pollution. 

“The biggest contributors to air pollution decades ago – industry – are no longer the biggest contributors today. Our air pollution issues are now community-based, which means our solutions are community-based,” says Timothy Franquist, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. “With 7 million people living, working and enjoying all that Arizona has to offer, small actions add up to big ones. Together, we can positively impact our environment, our economy and our community.”

Monday, April 30: Celebrate the successes. Since 1990, air quality has improved for Arizona even as the population and economy has grown. Plus, the American Lung Association found in their 2018 State of the Air report that some counties and the city of Phoenix were experiencing fewer days of unhealthy levels for certain pollutants compared to the last report.

Tuesday, May 1: World Asthma Day. Almost 100 Arizona residents die every year due to asthma. Hundreds of thousands more suffer from it. Driving less, curbing fireworks use during the holidays and using gas instead of wood fires are all actions that can reduce harmful pollutants.

Wednesday, May 2: Ozone. What type of air pollution can you not see or smell? Ozone. By simply driving less, taking mass transit, reducing idling in lines at drive-thru windows and waiting to fuel up until after dark, we can reduce the amount of ozone impacting our breathing.

Thursday, May 3: PM-10 — also known as dust. Some areas in Arizona are in nonattainment for PM-10, which means they are above a level set by the Clean Air Act and the EPA to control pollutants. This has economic impacts with increased regulation, as well as health impacts. 

Friday, May 4: PM-2.5 — also known as smoke. These tiny particles get deep into the lungs and can cause bigger health impacts than PM-10. Smoke from fireworks during the 4th of July holiday may drive those with respiratory issues inside or even to the hospital.

What can you do? You can be a part of the solution! Working together, we can improve air quality across Arizona, allowing each of us to breathe easier. Please help us spread the word.

For information to localize this story to your area and audience, contact ADEQ PIO Erin Jordan | 602-771-2215 | E-mail >

TIPS TO IMPROVE AIR QUALITY:

  • Ride transit, carpool or telework.
  • Eliminate all unnecessary driving and/or combine trips.
  • Avoid idling.
  • Refuel after dark.
  • Keep your tires inflated to proper levels and your car tuned.
  • Change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
  • Avoid the use of gas-powered lawn equipment.
  • Avoid dirt roads.
  • Avoid the use of leaf blowers.
  • Use gas or electric instead of burning wood.
  • Limit the lighting of fireworks.

Follow us and share our daily messages on social media:

Additional Resources:

  • Arizona Air Quality Index forecasting at azdeq.gov | View >
  • Animated video “We All Share the Air | Reducing PM-10 Air Pollution in Arizona” | View >