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The original item was published from 2/24/2020 4:51:36 PM to 3/1/2020 12:00:00 AM.

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Air Quality

Posted on: February 25, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Improper Weed Removal May Cause Serious Health Effects

Weed Removal

PHOENIX (February 25, 2020) – It is that time again when weeds become a major nuisance in Maricopa County. That is why the Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is encouraging property owners to be aware of the potential health impacts caused by dust from weed removal.

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

“Everyone can suffer from temporary symptoms due to high amounts of particulate matter in the air, such as  dust.” Maricopa County Air Quality Director Philip McNeely said. “Children, the elderly, people exercising outdoors and those with asthma or heart or lung disease are especially at risk. That is why the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is asking everyone to take precautions during the weed removal process.”

Regardless of how weeds are removed, the generation of dust should be minimized by the application of water. The surface should be re-stabilized when complete to prevent airborne dust. Stabilize soil crust by applying water or other forms of soil stabilizer, such as rock or asphalt millings.

A permit from MCAQD is required when removing weeds by 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 the department’s website at

Residents may report air quality concerns or dust control issues by calling the department at 602-372-2703 or filing a report online at

See more at


About Maricopa County Air Quality Department

The mission of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.

The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit to learn more.

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