With local ozone levels rising this week, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is issuing an ozone high pollution advisory Thursday.
Ground level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction that occurs when other pollutants are heated by the sun. Temperatures Thursday will near 100 degrees.
A high pollution advisory is issued when ozone levels are expected to exceed federal health standards.
Because of high temperatures, the Valley's "ozone season" typically runs April through September. Ozone can aggravate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. People with these conditions, as well as the elderly and very young, should avoid time outdoors, especially during the early evening hours when ozone production can peak.
With the high pollution advisory, the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is enforcing the mandatory "No Burn Day" restriction for Maricopa County from midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday. This restriction includes individuals and businesses that have burn permits for open burning.
Valley Metro requests employers activate their HPA Plan. Residents and employers are asked to use these tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:
* Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.
* Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute.
* Avoid using leaf blowers.
* Use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
* Delay big painting projects until high-pollution advisories or health watches have passed.
* Make sure containers of household cleaners, garage and yard chemicals and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air.
To learn more about the air you're breathing, visit www.cleanairmakemore.com