News Flash

Air Quality

Posted on: February 22, 2021

Improper Weed Removal Can Lead to Serious Health Effects

Weed Removal

PHOENIX (February 22, 2021) – With the changing of seasons, weeds become a major nuisance in Maricopa County. Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is encouraging property owners to be aware of the potential health impacts caused by dust from weed abatement (removal). 

Dust may cause respiratory and cardiovascular health problems, as well as irritate eyes, throat, and skin. Dust particles can be so small that they can pass through your throat and nose, enter the lungs, and even the bloodstream.

“Children, the elderly, people exercising outdoors, and those with respiratory issues are especially at risk when exposed to dust.   It is everyone’s responsibility to properly manage weed removal activities and minimize hazards caused by dust,” said Maricopa County Air Quality Department Director, Philip McNeely. 

Regardless of how weeds are removed, the generation of dust should be minimized by the application of water. The surface should also be re-stabilized after weeds are removed to prevent airborne dust. You can stabilize disturbed areas by applying water or other forms of soil stabilizer, such as rock or asphalt millings.  

A permit is required when removing weeds using mechanized equipment (discing, blading, or scraping) if this activity disturbs more than 0.10 of an acre (4,356 square feet). If the weeds are removed with a mower, weed eater, or hand tool, a permit is not required. 

For more information on weed removal and/or permit requirements, contact the MCAQD Business Assistance Office at 602-506-5102 or visit Maricopa.gov/aq

Residents may report air quality concerns or dust control issues by calling 602-372-2703 or filing a report online at Maricopa.gov/2132/Report-a-Violation

Download the Weed Removal-Tips for Dust Control help sheet.

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About Maricopa County Air Quality Department  

MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.

Media Contact:  Maria Bonilla - 602-506-7856 desk / 602-396-0527 cell, or maria.bonilla@maricopa.gov

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