June 1-7 is dust awareness week

Do not wait until poor visibility during a dust storm makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway, warns the Arizona Department of Transportation. Do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can. (Arizona Department of Transportation Facebook page)

Dust awareness week, June 1-7, encourages residents to reduce dust pollution in the community and region.

Held annually, this week aims to educate residents on the health issues associated with dust pollution and actions they can take to help improve air quality, according to a release from the Town of Queen Creek.

“Tiny particles of dust are 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,”the release states.

During dust awareness week and throughout the year, residents are encouraged to:

  1. Drive less, particularly on pollution advisory days. Carpool or reduce the number of trips you take in your car.
  2. Avoid idling your vehicle and refuel after dark.
  3. Drive slowly on unpaved roads and don’t drive or park in the dirt.
  4. Don’t use leaf blowers and other equipment that raise a lot of dust. Look for electric alternatives to gas-powered lawn and garden equipment; go to cleanairmakemore.com/lawn.
  5. Maintain your landscape. Cover loose dirt with vegetation or gravel.
  6. Reduce fireplace and woodstove use and don’t use your wood-burning fireplace or stove on no-burn days. Consider using gas instead of wood.
  7. Don’t burn leaves, trash or other materials.
  8. Report serious offenses to the Town of Queen Creek; go to queencreek.org/government/departments/public-works/environmental/air-quality/report-an-air-quality-issue-with-the-town.
  9. Find places you can ride your Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV/ATV) in Arizona; go to azstateparks.com/ohv.
  10. Report ATVs or other off-highway vehicles in washes or future Town park sites to the Town Park Ranger’s hotline at 480-358-3770. Report ATVs or other off-highway vehicles on private property or unpaved roads to MCSO at 602-876-1011.
  11. Support laws, rules and efforts to make our air healthier.

For more information about dust control requirements in Queen Creek, go to QueenCreek.org. To sign up for air quality alerts from Maricopa County, go to CleanAirMakeMore.com. To stay updated on events and activities, follow the town on Facebook.com/QueenCreek and Twitter.com/TownofQC.

The Queen Creek Independent publishes a daily newsletter and website. A print edition is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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