Metro Phoenix under ozone health watch Tuesday

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- Environmental regulators have issued an ozone health watch Tuesday for the Phoenix area.

Officials say pollution levels could approach the federal health standard for air quality.

A health watch is one step below a high pollution advisory or HPA, during which pollution might exceed the federal health standard.

Officials say people who are unusually sensitive to air quality should consider limiting their time outdoors, because ozone can irritate the lungs and aggravate existing health conditions such as asthma.  

Authorities recommend that people avoid waiting in their cars at drive-thru restaurants, unplug electronic devices that aren't being used, unplug unused appliances and fuel their cars after dark or during cooler evening hours.

The ozone season in Maricopa County runs from April through September.