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County Home => Health => News center => Letter to the Editor: Air Quality Awareness Week

Letter to the Editor: Air Quality Awareness Week

April 26, 2012

To the Editor:

Air Quality Awareness Week (April 30-May 4) is a time to appreciate a resource we need and share: clean air. Clean air is vital to good health and a resource we impact daily. You contribute to air pollution by turning on lights, driving, using hairspray, and even cleaning products. Everyone else is contributing too. It all adds up.

Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management requires businesses to control emissions under strict permit conditions. Old woodstoves must be removed from homes upon sale, and we use the Green-Yellow-Red Burn Code to reduce wintertime wood burning.

A summertime pollution concern is ozone, a reactive gas that forms when pollutants mix, causing smog. Breathing ozone affects health conditions like bronchitis and asthma. Repeated exposure can scar lung tissue. Almost everyone is affected by high ozone levels.

Major contributors to ozone are engine exhaust, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, solvents, and refueling. Limiting car trips, refueling during cooler hours, using electric vehicles and equipment, and using low VOC products help. So does walking or riding a bike.

So, remember to think about how you contribute to the air quality and do your part to protect our clean air.

Kevin Dick
Washoe County Health District