The Valley will be under an ozone high pollution advisory Thursday.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued the advisory because of expected high temperatures and light winds. Ozone is an invisible gas that is created when other pollutants in the air are heated – such as combustion. Thursday’s temperatures may flirt with 100 the next few days. An advisory is issued when ozone levels could exceed federal health limits.
Ozone can aggravate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. Children and adults with respiratory problems should avoid outdoor activities Thursday. Everyone else should limit outdoor activity, the ADEQ recommends.
Because of the high pollution advisory, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is enforcing the mandatory “No Burn Day” restriction for Maricopa County from midnight to midnight Thursday. This restriction includes individuals and businesses that have burn permits for open burning. Residents and employers are asked to use drive as little as possible, avoid using leaf blowers or conducting big painting projects.
Ground-level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that needs heat from sunlight, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds to form. The months of April through September make up the Valley’s longer-than-normal “ozone season.”