FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Air Quality Advisory Issued For Ozone
Clark County's Department of Air Quality (DAQ) has issued an advisory for Wednesday, Jun. 20, for potentially elevated levels of ozone due to current weather conditions that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone in the Las Vegas Valley.
Ground-level ozone is a key ingredient of urban smog during the hottest months of the year. A seasonal advisory is in effect in the Las Vegas Valley from April through September when ozone can build up during daytime hours because of 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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. People who may be most sensitive to ozone include individuals with lung disease such as asthma, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, older adults, children, and active people who exercise or work vigorously outdoors. Consult your physician if you have a medical condition that makes you sensitive to air pollution.
County Air Quality officials will continue to monitor conditions and if necessary will post updates on the forecast page of the DAQ website at http://redrock.clarkcountynv.gov/forecast/. You can subscribe to free air quality forecasts and advisories via e-mail or text through the EnviroFlash service at www.enviroflash.org.
The EPA's Air Quality Index translates air quality data into colors to help people know when they may experience health effects from air pollution. An AQI of 101 or more is considered a level that may be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people.
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.
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 2.25 million citizens and 46 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 about 1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.