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Ozone Action Days



We hear a lot about depletion of the ozone layer in the stratosphere. This kind of ozone protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Stratospheric ozone is good, but ground-level ozone is harmful. When people think of ground-level ozone, they usually picture a thick layer of smog over Los Angeles. They don't usually think of a Midwest summer day--hazy blue sky, sunny, and hot.

But people who live in the Southeast are also affected by ozone. It affects outlying suburbs and rural areas as well as the big cities.

Ozone Action Days will be called when weather forecasters predict days that are conducive to ozone formation. An area's industries and individual residents will be asked to voluntarily reduce emissions that cause ozone pollution.

Although ozone cannot be seen or tasted it can irritate lungs and make breathing difficult. The urban haze that we call smog contains pollutants that react to form ozone.


Most of the pollutants that form ozone come from cars. Large factories account for another portion of the emissions. Small businesses such as printing plants, service stations, and auto body shops, and people using lawnmowers, paints, and cleaning solvents account for another portion of the emissions.

Ozone pollution is of particular concern to people with asthma and other respiratory problems, because when it is breathed into the lungs ozone reacts with lung tissue. It can harm breathing passages, making it more difficult for the lungs to work. It also can cause eye and throat irritation and cause a greater susceptibility to infection.


What can I do to protect myself and my children from ozone pollution?

State agencies will use television and radio to notify citizens of ozone alerts. On days when your State or local air pollution control agency calls an Ozone Action Day:


Contact your State air pollution control agency or the U.S. EPA:

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

(800) 621-8431

10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Ozone Formation

  1. Instead of driving, share a ride, walk or bike.

  2. Take public transportation.
  3. If you must drive, avoid excessive idling and jackrabbit starts.
  4. Don't refuel your car, or only do so after 7 p.m.
  5. Avoid using outboard motors, off-road vehicles, or other gasoline powered recreational vehicles.
  6. Defer mowing your lawn until late evening or the next day. Also avoid using gasoline-powered garden equipment.
  7. Postpone chores that use oil-based paints, solvents, or varnishes that produce fumes.
  8. If you are barbecuing, use an electric starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid.
  9. Limit or postpone your household chores that will involve the use of consumer products.
  10. Conserve energy in your home to reduce energy needs.

Take these steps on Ozone Action Days and together we can reduce air pollution




For information about the contents of this page please contact Van Shrieves

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