Ozone Season is Underway
Ozone season begins March 1 and goes through the end of November. Some of you may be wondering what ozone season entails, and others may already know, but would like some ideas on how to help create better air quality in our region. Well, look no further.
What is ozone season?
Ozone season is the time when ground-level ozone, a common air pollutant, reaches its highest concentration. Ozone forms when volatile organic compounds combine with sunlight and intense heat. For example, pollution can occur when emissions from power plants, vehicles, dry cleaners and more are exposed to heat. The air quality index (AQI) is used to report daily air quality levels in the region to help better understand the severity of pollution and related health impacts. The AQI ranges from one to 500. The national standard is 100. The standard was created to protect human and environmental health as ground-level ozone is monitored. Any range above 100 is considered unsafe. For the current AQI in the region, visit www.airnorthtexas.org.
What does this mean for North Texans?
Breathing outdoor air could be especially dangerous for people with asthma or respiratory problems, young children or senior citizens. During days with high levels of ozone, people could experience coughing, throat irritation, chest tightening, pain, burning or discomfort when taking a deep breath, or shortness of breath. As a North Texan, stay air aware and protect your health by knowing daily air quality levels and working to reduce pollution in your area.
What can we do to combat high levels of ozone?
Consider making a few simple changes in your daily life. A great first step would be to sign up for air pollution alerts at www.airnorthtexas.org/signup to stay informed about the AQI. When the index is orange, red or purple, it can be unsafe for most groups to go outside. When the index is green or yellow, the air is safe for most groups. Other ways to combat high ozone include reducing idling, carpooling, taking your lunch to work and conserving water and electricity. For more clean air action ideas visit https://www.airnorthtexas.org/howto.
Friday, June 21, 2019 is Clean Air Action Day. Consider doing at least one thing on this day to improve air quality. Share your actions on social media by including #CAAD2019 on your post or tagging @NCTCOGtrans. You may even be able to win a prize! Visit www.airnorthtexas.org/cleanairactionday for a list of clean air choices you can make on this day and submit the choice you plan to make.