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The original item was published from 12/13/2017 10:57:42 AM to 12/13/2017 11:00:30 AM.

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Air Quality

Posted on: December 13, 2017

[ARCHIVED] PM-10 Health Watch issued for Thursday, December 14, 2017

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The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has issued a PM-10 Health Watch for Maricopa County, effective Thursday, December 14, 2017. This health watch is due to pollution levels expected to approach the federal health standard.

This health watch includes the following restrictions:
Open burning and wood burning fireplace activity is restricted in Maricopa County. This includes individuals and businesses which have burn permits for open burning.

Please take action during the health watch by following the tips below:

• Avoid using leaf blowers and other equipment that create dust.
• Stabilize loose soil or dirt.
• Maintain your landscape. Cover loose dirt with vegetation or gravel.
• Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
• Eliminate wood burning in fireplaces, stoves, chimineas and outdoor fire pits.


PM-10 stands for particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less. State and county agencies measure PM-10 and PM-2.5 which are extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found circulating in the air. PM, or particulate matter, comes from either combustion (cars, industry, woodburning) or dust stirred up into the air. High levels of PM are typically created when the air is especially stagnant.

"High Pollution Advisory" or "HPA" means the highest concentration of pollution may exceed the federal health standard. Active children, adults and people with lung disease such as asthma should reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Maricopa County employers enlisted in the Travel Reduction Program are asked to activate their HPA plans on high pollution advisory days.

"Health Watch" means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard. Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch.

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About Maricopa County Air Quality Department

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department is a regulatory agency whose goal is to ensure federal clean air standards are achieved and maintained for the residents and visitors of Maricopa County. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. 

The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit to learn more.

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