June 1-7 declared Dust Awareness Week in Queen Creek

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As a way to encourage residents to reduce dust pollution in the community and state, Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney declared June 1-7 as Dust Awareness Week. Held annually, this week aims to educate Queen Creek residents on the health issues associated with dust pollution and action they can take in the effort to decrease it, according to a press release.

“The town of Queen Creek has taken an active and ongoing role in the reduction of particulate matter and has specifically addressed this issue with the passage of several dust control resolutions,” Mayor Barney said in the release. “Controlling dust pollution takes more than a government agency and more than a scientific plan, it takes the people of Maricopa County to make the air cleaner and we urge all citizens to join us in a commitment to take practical measures to create healthier cleaner skies.”

Ground level ozone pollution is a direct irritant to lung tissue. In addition to triggering asthma and other respiratory symptoms, it can damage the lungs from exposure over long periods of time, according to the release.

During Dust Awareness Week and throughout the year, residents are encouraged to:

•Drive less, particularly on pollution advisory days. Reduce the number of trips by car.
•Do drive slowly on unpaved roads and don’t drive or park in the dirt.
•Don’t use leaf blowers and other equipment that raise a lot of dust, and avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
•Maintain one’s landscape. Cover loose dirt with vegetation or gravel.
•Reduce fireplace and woodstove use and don’t use a wood-burning fireplace or stove on no-burn days. Consider using gas instead of wood.
•Don’t burn leaves, trash or other materials.
•Report serious offenders to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department on the town’s website, www.queencreek.org.
•Support laws, rules and efforts to make air quality healthier.

For more information about dust control requirements in Queen Creek or what residents can do to help reduce dust pollution, visit the town’s website. To see what Maricopa County is doing to help educate the public about clean air, visit its website.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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