Las Vegas Seeing Poor Air Quality

The fog-like haze over the valley is a sign that pollution levels are on the rise. While conditions aren't exactly healthy, according to a local expert, it's not as bad as it looks.

This thick, white haze is made up primarily of two groups; dust and pollution.

Professor David Hassenzahl with UNLV's Department of Environmental Studies says the dry mix includes desert dust and sand stirred up by the wind, as well as excessive amounts of pollutants.

Those come from automobile and diesel-truck exhaust. Because of warmer temperatures, there's also more ground-level ozone.

"Ground level ozone, if it gets high enough, can be a problem for people trying to do physical activity outdoors. It can also impact lung capacity," he said.

The health related toll due to the haze over southern Nevada is more difficult to track than in larger cities, where death rates spike on days when air pollution is at its worse.

But Professor Hassenzahl says the pollution levels, at least for now, have not reached a dangerous level.

"Am I worried about my kids out running around today playing on the playground? Well, no. The haze and the ozone are not high enough to warrant stopping those kinds of activities," he said.


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