Downtown Tucson, Arizona

City of Tucson skyline with snow on the Santa Catalina Mountains.

An Air Quality Health Watch has been issued for Pima County because of elevated levels of ground-level ozone air pollution in the Tucson area. 

People who are sensitive to air pollution may experience shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, wheezing and breathing discomfort, according to the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality Clean Air Program.

People sensitive to ozone should limit outside activities, especially intense physical activity, in the afternoon.

Children, adults who are especially active outdoors and people with certain respiratory diseases tend to be more sensitive, PDEQ says. 

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Ground-level ozone can be created by many emissions such as vehicle exhaust, industrial and power plant emissions and gasoline vapors, PDEQ says.

To reduce the emissions that contribute to ground level ozone, PDEQ suggests the following:

  • Reduce driving
  • Avoid idling your car's engine
  • Re-fuel your car after 6 p.m.
  • While re-fueling, stop at the click to avoid spills 
  • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed
  • Check tire pressure monthly
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment 

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.