The official start of ozone season is here in the Las Vegas Valley.
Clark County’s Department of Air Quality (DAQ) has issued a seasonal advisory for ozone that covers the spring and summer months when weather conditions and levels of pollutants can trigger a build-up of ground-level ozone during afternoon hours. The advisory is in effect now through September.
“We’ve made a lot of progress in cleaning up our local air quality in recent years, but ozone pollution continues to be a challenge for our community and others in the Western states,” said Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak. “We all need to do our part to help reduce ozone pollution this time of year.”
Contributing factors include strong sunlight, hot temperatures, and pollutants from automobiles and other sources such as wildfires, as well as air blown into the valley from either Southern California or the Gulf of Mexico at times when the Gulf also affects local humidity.
Unhealthy doses of ground-level ozone can reduce lung function and worsen respiratory illnesses like asthma or bronchitis. Exposure to ozone also can induce coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath even in healthy people. When ozone levels are elevated, officials advise everyone to limit strenuous outdoor activity.
The public also is encouraged to take the following actions 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.
• Drive an electric or hybrid vehicle, or low-emission scooter or motorcycle.
• Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Less fuel burned at power plants means cleaner air.
• Consider low-maintenance landscaping that uses less water and doesn’t require the use of
gas- powered lawn tools to maintain.
Daily ozone levels can be viewed here. http://redrock.clarkcountynv.gov/forecast/