The Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability has issued a dust advisory for Thursday, May 20, to advise residents and local construction sites of the possibility of elevated levelsof blowing dust due to the forecast of high winds in our area. Wind speeds of 25 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40 miles per hour, are expected today.
Airborne dust is a form of inhalable air pollution called particulate matter or PM, which aggravates respiratory diseases. Under windy conditions people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children may feel better staying indoors as much as possible because they could be at greater risk from particulates, especially when they are physically active, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Consult your physician if you have a medical condition that makes you sensitive to air pollution.
The EPA’s Air Quality Index translates air quality data into colors to help people understand when they may experience health effects from air pollution. An AQI of 101 or more is considered a level that may be unhealthy for sensitive groups of people. Tips to limit exposure to dust include:
· Limit outdoor exertion on windy days when dust is in the air. Exercise, for example, makes you breathe heavier and increases the amount of particulates you are likely to inhale.
· Keep windows and doors closed.
· Run your air conditioner inside your house and car to filter out particulates.
· Consider changing your indoor air filters if they are dirty.
· To keep dust down, drive slowly on unpaved roads.
· Don’t take short cuts across vacant lots.
· Ride off-road vehicles in approved areas outside the urban Las Vegas Valley.
· Call Environment and Sustainability’s dust complaint hotline at 702-385-DUST (3878) to report excessive amounts of blowing dust from construction sites, vacant lots or facilities.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH AIR QUALITY INFORMATION
The Department of Environment and Sustainability monitors air pollution through a network of monitoring sites throughout the Las Vegas Valley. Data is collected from these sites and reported at our monitoring website: AirQuality.ClarkCountyNV.gov. People can stay informed through a couple channels:
· EnviroFlash: Receive daily text or email messages with the latest air quality information. Learn more at www.enviroflash.org. The Dept. of Environment and Sustainability also issues advisories and alerts for ozone and other pollutants such as dust, smoke and other particulate matters.
· AIRNow: Check air quality forecasts, current conditions and the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Clark County at AIRNow’s website.