State extends PM-10 Health Watch through Feb. 2 for Maricopa County

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has extended Thursday’s PM-10 Health Watch for Maricopa County through Friday, Feb. 2. This health watch is due to pollution levels expected to approach the federal health standard, according to a press release.

Open burning and wood burning fireplace activity is restricted in Maricopa County. This includes individuals and businesses which have burn permits for open burning.

PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air, according to the release.

PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, wood burning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant.

ADEQ officials advise residents take action during the health watch by following the tips:

  • Avoid using leaf blowers and other equipment that create dust.
  • Stabilize loose soil or dirt.
  • Maintain your landscape. Cover loose dirt with vegetation or gravel.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
  • Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.

“High Pollution Advisory” means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.

Maricopa County employers enlisted in the Travel Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.

“Health Watch” means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County.

The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.

The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more.

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