PRESS RELEASE | ADEQ Issues Ozone High Pollution Advisory for the Phoenix Area Effective May 5, 2021

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for ozone effective May 5, 2021, in the Phoenix area. ADEQ recommends that people limit outdoor activity while the HPA is in effect, especially children and adults with respiratory problems.

Ground-level ozone forms when two types of pollutants — volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) — react in sunlight. These pollutants come primarily from automobiles, but also from other sources, including industries, power plants and products, such as solvents and paints. Generally, the highest levels of ozone occur in the afternoon.

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Health Impacts

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, adults exercising outdoors, people with heart or lung disease, and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease, and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues.

Please help reduce ozone by doing one or more of the following:

  • Drive as little as possible
  • Re-fuel your vehicle in the evening
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, if possible
  • Use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers – delay big painting projects
  • Make sure containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals, and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air

Background

High Pollution Advisory (HPA) | Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is forecast to exceed the federal health standard.

High Pollution Watch (HPW) | Notifies the public when there is potential for a pollutant to exceed the federal health standard.

Ozone Fact Sheet | View >

Find the Forecast

Air Quality Hourly Forecast | View >

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Be Air Aware

Together we can make a difference to improve air quality for everyone in Arizona by following simple steps | Learn More >

Contacts

ADEQ | Provides hourly forecasts for air quality in certain areas of the state and issues HPAs or HPWs when the appropriate conditions exist.

  • Public Information Officer | 602-540-8072 | Email >

Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) | Regulatory agency for air quality in Maricopa County.

  • MCAQD Website | View >
  • Public Information Officer | 602-506-6713 (office) | 602-526-7307 (cell) | Email >

Valley Metro | Eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County.

  • Valley Metro Website | View >
  • Communications Manager | 602-523-6004 | Email >