Pima County issues health warning; gets ‘D’ rating from American Lung Association

Health watch for ozone

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Pima County is under a health watch Thursday and Friday for high levels of ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is pollution from things like cars and powerplants. The Environmental Protection Agency said these types of pollutants can be harmful to the lungs, cause shortness of breath and be harmful to some plants.

They say people with asthma, small kids or older folks should not be spending a lot of time outside.

In 2018, Tucson exceeded the EPA’s standards for these pollutants for the first time. If that happens again, the EPA could put restrictions on some businesses moving into Tucson or looking to expand, in order to cut down on these emissions. The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality said this is a growing issue in Tucson, but not everyone is too concerned about this.

“There’s many things about Pima County I’m concerned about…roads, illegal immigration, proper use of taxes, in my level of concern are above cars or pollution, even with asthma,” said Dave McVey, who was enjoying the day at the park. “I have a good doctor.”

The American Lung Association just gave Pima County a ‘D’ rating for these pollutants in their latest State of the Air. Maricopa and Pinal counties both got ‘F’ ratings.

“I care about our kids and our future and the effect is has on our bodies,” said Elizabeth Crumbo, a mom concerned about air pollution. “It effects our quality of living.”

The Department of Environmental Quality said to cut down on ground-level ozone, people should drive less, use water-based paints and stains and refuel cars after 6 p.m.

To look at the Pima County air monitors, click here. https://webcms.pima.gov/government/environmental_quality/air/air_monitoring/

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