Air Quality Awareness Month & the Impacts of Summer Air Quality - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Air Quality Awareness Month & the Impacts of Summer Air Quality

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  This week is Air Quality Awareness week and Air Quality Management wants to stress the importance of being up to date on when the air isn't safe to breathe especially during the summer months. During the summer time the biggest threats to our air quality comes from fires in the area and blowing dust.
On Wednesday the air quality is good because we've had some breezy weather, but it won't be like this all summer. It's no secret the quality of the air we breathe changes throughout the year..

"We look for weather patterns that may set up an inversion and that's basically a weather pattern that traps pollutants," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Smallcomb. The inversions happen mostly mostly  during the winter time. In the summer it's a whole different story. One of the worst seasons was last summer during the American Fire followed by the Rim Fire. "Dumping smoke into the area, that can obviously degrade the air quality significantly," said Smallcomb.

Meteorologist Chris Smallcomb works hand in hand with the Washoe County Air Quality Management Division. Together they help determine when the air reaches safe and unsafe levels. "We monitor for different pollutes like particulates, ozone carbon monoxide," Branch Chief Dan Inouye. There are 8 air monitoring stations in Washoe County.

The people most susceptible to problems are the elderly, small children and people with asthma or other breathing problems. This may be someone you know. "Ozone in the summertime would be similar to a sunburn inside your lungs," Inouye.

To help, Washoe Air Quality Management recently released a new tool called Enviroflash. It's a newer version of the air quality alert system they've used in the past this one includes more features. "You can choose which level of air pollution concern that you're interested in," said Inouye. Subscribers can select between an email or text message to get the alerts. 

Enviroflash has only been active for about a week. To find out more about the air quality alert program and how you can sign up, go to:
http://www.washoecounty.us/health/aqaw.php

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