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Ozone - Good Up High Bad Nearby

Actions You Can Take

High-Altitude "Good" Ozone

  • Protect yourself against sunburn. When the UV Index is "high" or "very high": Limit outdoor activities between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun is most intense. Twenty minutes before going outside, liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. For UV Index forecasts, check local media reports or visit: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
  • Use approved refrigerants in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Make sure technicians that work on your car or home air conditioners or refrigerator are certified to recover the refrigerant. Repair leaky air conditioning units before refilling them.

Ground-Level "Bad" Ozone

  • Check the air quality forecast in your area. At times when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecast to be unhealthy, limit physical exertion outdoors. In many places, ozone peaks in mid-afternoon to early evening. Change the time of day of strenuous outdoor activity to avoid these hours, or reduce the intensity of the activity. For AQI forecasts, check your local media reports or visit: www.airnow.gov
  • Help your local electric utilities reduce ozone air pollution by conserving energy at home and the office. Consider setting your thermostat a little higher in the summer. Participate in your local utilities' load-sharing and energy conservation programs.
  • Reduce air pollution from cars, trucks, gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, boats and other engines by keeping equipment properly tuned and maintained. During the summer, fill your gas tank during the cooler evening hours and be careful not to spill gasoline. Reduce driving, carpool, use public transportation, walk, or bicycle to reduce ozone pollution, especially on hot summer days.
  • Use household and garden chemicals wisely. Use low VOC paints and solvents. And be sure to read labels for proper use and disposal.

For air program information, contact your Regional EPA Office:

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3 Region 4 Region 5 Region 7 Region 8 Region 10 Region 6 Region 9 Region 10 Region 9 Region 2 Region 9

...or visit EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/air


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