Air Quality Guide for Ozone
Ground-level ozone is one of our nation’s most common air pollutants. Use the chart below to help reduce your exposure and protect your health. For your local air quality, visit www.airnow.gov
Note: If you don't have an air conditioner, staying inside with the windows closed may be dangerous in extremely hot weather. In these cases, seek alternative shelter.
Key Facts to Know About Ozone:
What is ozone?
Ozone is a colorless gas that can be good or bad, depending on where it is. Ozone in the stratosphere is good because it shields the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Ozone at ground level, where we breathe, is bad because it can harm human health.
Ozone forms when two types of pollutants (VOCs and NOx) react in sunlight. These pollutants come from sources such as vehicles, industries, power plants, and products such as solvents and paints.
Why is ozone a problem?
Ozone can cause a number of health problems, including coughing, breathing difficulty, and lung damage. Exposure to ozone can make the lungs more susceptible to infection, aggravate lung diseases, increase the frequency of asthma attacks, and increase the risk of early death from heart or lung disease.
Do I need to be concerned?
Even healthy adults can experience ozone’s harmful effects, but some people may be at greater risk. They include:
How can I protect myself?
Use the Air Quality Index (AQI) to plan outdoor activities. To keep the AQI handy, sign up for EnviroFlash emails, get the free AirNow app, or install the free widget on your website. Find all of these tools at www.airnow.gov.
Stay healthy: exercise, eat a balanced diet, and keep asthma under control with your asthma action plan.
When you see that the AQI is unhealthy, take simple steps to reduce your exposure:
Can I help reduce ozone?
Yes! Here are a few tips.
|US EPA Office of Air and Radiation