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Ozone Levels Nationwide Lowest Since 1980 - May 4, 2004 World Asthma Day

Release Date: 5/4/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – Ozone can aggravate asthma. When ozone levels are high, more people have asthma attacks which require a doctor's attention or the use of additional medication. One reason this happens is that ozone makes people more sensitive to indoor and outdoor allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, mold, and pests, which are common triggers of asthma attacks. People with asthma are most severely affected by the reduced lung function and irritation that ozone causes in the respiratory system.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that an average of one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma. Asthma is the most common long-term childhood disease, affecting 6.3 million children. The rate is rising more rapidly in preschool-aged children than in any other age group.

    Today, the Environmental Protection Agency released “The Ozone Report: Measuring Progress through 2003.” The reports shows that in 2003, ozone levels nationwide were the lowest they have been since 1980. Vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions are major sources of pollution that form ozone. Areas across the United States are taking actions to implement this nation’s most protective ozone standard. National rules that will result in reducing these emissions even further are being put in place.

    To view the full ozone report, visit: