MOJAVE DESERT AIR BASIN — With rising temperatures also often comes potentially dangerous ozone levels that can increase health risks.
Beginning Monday, the High Desert and Palo Verde Valley will be subjected to excessive heat with temperatures soaring possibly as high as 110 degrees, the National Weather Service warns.
“Most folks aren’t aware of the harmful type of ozone, known as ground-level ozone,” said Brad Poiriez, Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD). “Those residents that have or experience respiratory illnesses should take appropriate precautions during these forecasted days of excessive heat and elevated ozone.”
Tropospheric, or ground-level ozone, is not emitted directly into the air but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). This happens when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight. Ozone at ground level — the main ingredient in “smog” — is a harmful air pollutant because of its effects on humans and the environment.
Children seniors, people with heart or lung disease and physically active adults are at greatest risk during peak ozone events.
During days with poor air quality, residents should avoid excessive outdoor exercise or activity, avoid outdoor activity in high traffic areas and reduce energy usage at home.
(source:MDAQMD news release)