Air Yuma provides instant access to real-time outdoor air quality information

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials have announced the launch of Air Yuma, a free mobile app to help Yuma area residents, visitors, caregivers, healthcare providers, parents and teachers protect their health and learn simple actions they can take to improve the quality of our air. Air Yuma keeps users informed about regional outdoor air quality conditions and how unhealthy air can affect how we live and breathe. The app gives users instant access to real-time outdoor air quality information as easy to understand as weather forecasts.

Yuma’s location near the southern edge of the arid Colorado River Valley and close proximity to both California and Mexico offer unique air quality challenges. Weather, landscape and human activities in the region all play a role in the air quality observed in Yuma. There are two pollutants specific to Yuma that ADEQ meteorologists issue air quality forecasts for, PM10 (coarse particulates or dust) and ozone. Both pollutants have a history of exceeding federal health standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Past PM10 incidents in Yuma have primarily been the result of windblown dust while ozone levels have been linked to occasional wildfire smoke and the transport of ozone from nearby metropolitan areas.

People with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults are most likely to experience health effects from high levels of particle pollution. Breathing particles can affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Coarse particles in the PM10 size range are still tiny enough to travel into the respiratory tract where they can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Elevated ozone levels may also cause similar effects.

“As Arizona continues to face increasing air pollution challenges from our international and state neighbors, it’s important to keep our border communities informed so they have adequate time to take appropriate action to protect their health,” said Timothy S. Franquist, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. “Air Yuma's real-time information will enhance public health and the environment of the Yuma community."

The Air Yuma app is a continuation of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s call to state agencies to modernize government.

“This free and easily accessible tool is a great complement to ADEQ’s existing Air Quality Flag Program which has been successfully utilized in the Yuma Community for several years. The app allows anyone to access health suggestions and extended forecasts for planning purposes and is especially useful for individuals with asthma or other respiratory conditions,” added Yuma County Public Health Director Diana Gomez. “The data will help aid not only those with health conditions but all people, to guide their decision to limit outdoor exposure and reduce the intensity of activity on days with high pollution advisories.”

Available from the App Store (for iPhone devices) and Google Play (for Android devices), the Air Yuma mobile app provides users with:

Information about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index (AQI), particle pollution and how Yuma area air quality measures up
Alerts for ADEQ Health Watches (HWs) and High Pollution Advisories (HPAs) for elevated ozone and dust (PM10) conditions
Current weather, air quality conditions and a three-day air quality forecast for Yuma area air quality
Air quality tips and health suggestions, particularly important on HPA and HW days, such as:
Avoid wood burning on High Pollution Advisory (HPA) days
Driving slowly on dirt roads
Minimizing vehicle idling
Keeping car tires inflated properly
Avoiding outdoor exercise early in the morning or late at night
Basic meteorological data, such as regional wind speed, direction and ambient temperatures
One-touch links to additional ADEQ resources   back...

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