Skip to Content

Department of Environmental Quality issues High Pollution Advisory

Children and adults with respiratory issues should practice additional caution

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing a High Pollution Advisory for ozone effective Thursday, May 27, throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. During this time, ADEQ recommends Arizonans limit their outdoor activity, especially those with a history of respiratory health issues.

When two types of pollutants react in sunlight, in this case: volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), ground-level ozone forms. VOCs are primarily emitted from motor vehicles, chemical plants, refineries, factories and other industrial sources. NOx is usually emitted from motor vehicles, power plants and other sources of combustion. Additionally, these pollutants also come from producing solvents and paints.

The highest levels of ozone typically occur in the afternoon. According to Smithsonian Magazine and many other sources across the web, Yuma runs hand in hand with Phoenix, almost always beating it, as the "sunniest city in the world." Since the main ingredient for a reaction is direct sunlight, it's no surprise Arizona deserts are perfect breeding grounds for ozone levels.

Wednesday's Air Quality Hourly Forecast versus Thursday's:

Please help reduce ozone by doing one or more of the following:

  • Drive as little as possible.
  • Re-fuel your vehicle in the evening.
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, if possible.
  • Use low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
    • Think about even delaying big painting projects.
  • Make sure containers garage and yard chemicals, household cleaners and other solvents are sealed properly to prevent vapors from evaporating into the air.

People most vulnerable to the impacts of air pollution include children, older adults, people with heart or lung disease, adults exercising outdoors and those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Exposure can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis or other lung disease, and reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Symptoms may include itchy eyes, nose and throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and upper respiratory issues.

Author Profile Photo

Caleb J. Fernández

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction. Please reach out via email at if you’re interested in collaborating.

Jenny Day

You can catch Jenny Day anchoring KYMA News 11 at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. weekdays.

Skip to content