Air Quality Alert Issued for Ozone Today in Northwest Las Vegas
Clark County Air Quality officials are advising residents of a buildup of ground-level ozone in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley and an alert is in effect today. When ozone levels are elevated, everyone should limit strenuous outdoor activity, especially people with respiratory diseases, the elderly and children. However, even in healthy people ozone exposure can induce coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
At this time, unhealthy levels of ozone are imminent or occurring in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley. However, due to technical difficulties, the air quality monitoring data Web page does not reflect the current ozone levels throughout the valley.
Ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere and protects earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Ground level ozone forms when pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the atmosphere in the presence of heat and sunlight.
At ground level, ozone is a key ingredient of urban smog during the hottest months of the year in Clark County. Unhealthy doses of ground-level ozone can reduce lung function and worsen respiratory illnesses, such as asthma or bronchitis. If you are experiencing breathing difficulties or medical conditions that you think are related to air quality, see your doctor. Officials suggest these tips to help reduce the formation of ground-level ozone:
- Fill up your gas tank after sunset.
- Plan errands so they can be done in one trip
- Try not to spill gasoline when filling up, and don’t top off your gas tank.
- Keep your car well maintained.
- Use mass transit or carpool.
- Don’t idle your car engine unnecessarily.
- Walk or ride your bike whenever practical and safe.
- Consider low-maintenance landscaping that uses less water and doesn’t require the use of gas- powered lawn tools to maintain.
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Less fuel burned at power plants means cleaner air.
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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 million citizens and 42 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 almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.