Air Quality Wants You to "Check the AQI & Get Outside"
National Air Quality Awareness Week is Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3 and the Clark County Department of Air Quality will be active in the community and on social media under the national theme, Check the AQI and Get Outside.
"We all breathe the same air," said Air Quality Assistant Director Jodi Bechtel. "Air Quality Awareness Week provides us a great opportunity to specifically highlight the importance of clean air and how it impacts every facet of life in our community."
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measurement for reporting daily air quality and is color-coded to indicate how clean or polluted the air is and what associated health effects may be a concern. The AQI focuses on health effects people may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
Air Quality Awareness Week kicks off 2 p.m. Monday, April 29 at the Clark County Government Center Rotunda (500 S. Grand Central Pkwy.) when Commissioner Justin Jones will present an official proclamation to the Department of Air Quality.
A complete list of planned Air Quality Awareness Week public activities:
- All week: Staff will visit CCSD schools to educate students about air quality issues.
- Monday, April 29: Air Quality Awareness Week Proclamation, 2 p.m. at the Clark County Government Center rotunda, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas.
- Tuesday, April 30: Operation Ozone, 6 – 8 p.m. at 7-Eleven, 7110 S. Durango Dr. Air Quality staff will be promoting ozone-reducing tips and thanking people for helping reduce ozone with prizes.
- Thursday, May 2: Operation Ozone, 6 – 8 p.m. at 7-Eleven, 7110 S. Durango Dr. Air Quality staff will be promoting ozone-reducing tips and thanking people for helping reduce ozone with prizes.
- Friday, May 3: First Friday, 5 – 11 p.m., downtown Las Vegas. Visit the Air Quality booth for prizes, "Plinko" and fun.
- Saturday, May 4: Las Vegas Science and Technology Giant Expo, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., World Market Center. Answers to all your science-based air quality questions and more.
Air Quality's message to people at these events: our air quality better than it's ever been.
"Clark County's air quality is good and improving every year," said Bechtel. "Ozone, however, remains a challenge due to several factors and we will use Air Quality Awareness Week as an opportunity to share tips with people on how they can help reduce ozone."
A colorless gas that exists naturally in the Earth's atmosphere, ozone at the ground level is a key ingredient of urban smog that can build up during the day in the hottest months of the year. Contributing factors include strong sunlight, hot temperatures, gasoline and chemical vapors, and pollutants from automobiles, wildfires and regional transport. Exposure to ozone can irritate your respiratory system and cause coughing, a sore throat, chest pain and shortness of breath even in healthy people, according to the EPA.
Tips to limit exposure to ozone and reduce its formation at ground level include:
- Reduce the time you are active outdoors when ozone levels are elevated, especially if you are engaged in a strenuous activity or have a respiratory disease.
- Schedule activities for the morning or evening when ozone levels are usually lower.
- Substitute a less intense activity – walk instead of jog, for example.
- Reduce driving – combine errands into one trip.
- Don't idle your car engine unnecessarily.
- Use mass transit or carpool.
- Fill up your gas tank after sunset. Try not to spill gasoline when filling up, and don't top off your tank.
- Keep your car well maintained.
- Consider landscaping that uses less water and gas-powered equipment to maintain.
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Less fuel burned at power plants means cleaner air.
Go to our website for more information about Air Quality Awareness Week.
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation's 14th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2.3 million citizens and 45.3 million visitors a year. Included are the nation's 8th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state's largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.