High pollution advisory Friday for Maricopa County - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

High pollution advisory Friday for Maricopa County

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A high-pollution advisory and no-burn day have been issued across Maricopa County and may extend through this weekend.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials issued the HPA because a significant front is expected to pass through the valley and produce very cold conditions Friday and throughout the weekend -- which could potentially trigger the widespread use of fireplaces beginning Friday. 

"Forecasts are calling for extremely cold air to enter on Friday and Saturday," said ADEQ Air Quality Director Eric Massey.  "We expect these cold temperatures to trigger a significant increase in the amount of wood-burning activity which will result in high concentrations of PM2.5."

ADEQ officials say anyone sensitive to pollution should avoid heavy physical activity outdoors Friday.  They add that  people with respiratory problems including asthmatics should limit straining outdoor activity.
The ADEQ advisory predicts fine particulate matter in the area that is unhealthy for people sensitive to the air debris.  Authorities say that type of particulate can come from combustion, including vehicles and wood burning.

ADEQ's tips to help make the air healthier to breathe:  

  • Eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
  • Drive as little as possible: car pool, use public transit or telecommute. For information on transportation alternatives, visit Valley Metro: www.valleymetro.org.
  • Recreational off-highway vehicle (OHV) use is prohibited during the advisory period.
  • The use of leaf blowers on governmental properties is prohibited during the advisory period.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid activities that generate dust, such as driving on dirt roads.
  • Stabilize loose soils.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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