Controlling the particulate matter that gets into our air takes more than a government agency and more than a scientific plan to reduce particulate matter. It takes action and commitment by all of us to make our air cleaner.
Particulate matter 10 microns or less in size (PM-10) is known to contribute to and aggravate respiratory illnesses. PM-10 clogs lungs and is particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. Because the particles are so small, about the size of a single grain of flour, they are able to hang suspended in the damper, denser morning air, wreaking havoc on our air quality and our health.
The Dirty Dozen
12 Things You Can Do to Fight Particulate Matter Pollution
1. Drive less, particularly on pollution advisory days. Reduce the number of trips you take in your car.
2. Don't drive in the dirt.
3. Drive slowly on unpaved roads.
4. Don't use leaf blowers and other equipment that raise a lot of dust.
5. Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
6. Maintain your landscape. Cover loose dirt with vegetation or gravel.
7. Reduce fireplace and woodstove use, and don't use your wood-burning fireplace or stove on no-burn days.
8. Consider using gas instead of wood. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert, make sure it meets EPA design specifications and burn only dry, seasoned wood.
9. Conserve electricity.
10. Don't burn leaves, trash or other materials.
11. Report serious offenders to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department by calling 602-372-2703.
12. Support laws, rules, and efforts to make our air healthier.
With your help, the City of Chandler can do its part to clean up our air. Cleaner air can substantially reduce the occurrence and severity of heart and lung disease and save more than 15,000 lives each year.
What is Ozone?
Ozone is a pollutant that appears in our valley's hot summertime air. Ozone is formed by gases called nitrogen oxides (NOx) and (VOCs) volatile organic compounds. When they are mixed in the presence of heat and sunlight, the reaction forms ozone.
Changing weather is the cause of fluctuation in ozone levels from year to year and city to city. Ozone and the pollutants that cause it can be sent hundreds of miles upwind from their source.
What harm will it cause?
When ozone is inhaled, even in low doses, it can cause: respiratory problems, aggravate asthma, cause significant temporary decrease in lung capacity. Even healthy adults are effected. Up to 20% of all summertime respiratory problems are associated with ozone pollution. It can impair the body's immune system defenses that could lead to respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
Are children at more of a risk?
Yes. Children breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults, and because their respiratory systems are not yet fully developed, they are more threatened by the harmful effects of out door pollutants.
Will ozone have any other ill effects?
Not only is Ozone in large quantities harmful to us, but to the world around us. Ground level ozone weakens sensitive vegetation, making plants more susceptible to disease, pests, and environmental stresses. It is known to be a leading cause in reduced yields of crops.
It also effects the long-lived species such as trees. It can kill or damage leaves, and cause them to fall too soon, become spotted and/or brown. This not only has an ill effect on the beauty of nature, but is damaging to our natural food chain as well.
When is ozone most likely to reach a dangerous level?
We could reach high levels of ozone any time during our valleys' hot desert weather, but the Governor's Ozone Alert Program runs from May 1 to Sep 30. So please use Trip Reduction. There will be something in it for all.
If you're ready to help make our air just a little bit cleaner. Give us a call in the transit department at 782-3440.
How can we help?
- Keep your eyes and ears open. ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) announces an alert before noon the preceding high pollution alert day. So watch for posters to be put up around your offices, listen for alert broadcast on most popular radio stations.
Remember: If an emergency arises for someone using any form or trip reduction, transportation will be provided.