Weekend rain improves Valley air quality - East Valley Tribune: News

Weekend rain improves Valley air quality

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Posted: Monday, January 5, 2009 4:50 pm | Updated: 2:28 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Asthma sufferers and those with respiratory illness may be breathing a bit easier today thanks to the weekend’s storm system.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality reports the rainfall from Sunday will help keep the coarse particle level (particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers to 10 micrometers in diameter) down for a few days.

Ozone and carbon monoxide levels measured “good” on all monitors Saturday with the low pressure system in the Valley.

A high pressure system returned to the Valley today and is expected to remain through the rest of the week. With the stagnant air, the department reports particle matter levels may rise by Thursday or Friday. The department’s Web site notes fine particle matter levels — those from particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less — may increase from wood burning and combustion from motor vehicles.

The larger particles, between 2.5 and 10 micrometers, are created from dust along paved and unpaved roads and construction operations.

According to ADEQ’s Web site, the potential health impact from particulate matter includes increased susceptibility to respiratory infections. In addition, high levels can aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.

When levels are elevated, those prone to respiratory issues should limit time outdoors.

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