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Clark County ozone warning begins Monday, lasts through September

It’s almost ozone season in Southern Nevada, and the Clark County Department of Air Quality is reminding everyone to act accordingly.

Valley residents can reduce the amount of the ground-level air pollutant by driving and idling their vehicles less, sticking to public transportation when possible and filling up their gas tanks after dark.

Those with respiratory problems and other health issues are advised to limit outdoor activity, especially in the middle of the day when levels are at their worst, and stick to less strenuous exercise in the morning or evening.

The season-long ozone advisory announced by county air quality officials Friday will be in effect from Monday through Sept. 30.

Ozone is a colorless gas that exists naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, but at ground level it is a key ingredient of urban smog that can build up during the day in the hottest months of the year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to ozone can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, sore throat, chest pain and shortness of breath even in healthy people.

“The Department of Air Quality is enforcing the EPA’s health-based standards to minimize ozone and other pollutants, but people in our community can also take steps to help reduce ozone,” said Department of Air Quality Director Marci Henson in a written statement.

The department offers air quality alerts and forecasts on its website and through its Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

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