The Clark County Department of Air Quality (DAQ) is issuing an advisory for ground-level ozone pollution, effective Saturday, Aug. 18 – Sunday, Aug. 19. In addition to local weather conditions, smoke from California wildfires moving into the region is also a factor this weekend.
Ozone is a colorless gas that exists naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere. At ground level, ozone is a key ingredient of urban smog that can build up during the day in the hottest months of the year 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 EPA.
HELPFUL TIPS TO REDUCE OZONE
Because cars, trucks and other vehicles are major contributors to ozone, people can follow these helpful, everyday tips to reduce ozone:
- 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.
Also, if you have respiratory issues or other health concerns, consider these tips during ozone season:
- 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 – walking instead of jogging, for example.
- Always consult your doctor first for medical advice.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH AIR QUALITY INFORMATION
The Department of Air Quality monitors air pollution through a network of monitoring sites throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Data is collected from these sites and reported at our monitoring website: AirQuality.ClarkCountyNV.gov. People can stay informed through a couple channels:
- Twitter and Facebook: Read air quality updates in your Facebook news feed or tweets. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClarkCountyAirQuality and Twitter: @CCAirQuality.
- EnviroFlash: Receive daily text or email messages with the latest air quality information. Learn more at www.enviroflash.org. Air Quality also issues advisories and alerts for ozone and other pollutants such as dust, smoke and other particulate matters.
- AIRNow: Check air quality forecasts, current conditions and the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Clark County at AIRNow's website.