Warmer Temps Jumpstart Summer Ozone
Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Air Pollution, Summer Haze and OzoneWith near record breaking temperatures in many parts of the country, poor air quality warnings are getting an early start to the season. As the mercury rises during the summer months, the combination of the heat and air pollution leads to air quality warnings in metro and suburban areas throughout the US. Though this is usually seen later in the year, early heat is exacerbating ground level ozone warnings sooner.

There are two basic types of ozone. Ozone found in the upper atmosphere acts as a protective shield against solar particles and certain emissions from the sun. Ground level ozone, on the other hand, is a powerful lung irritant that forms when heat combines with air pollution from vehicles and industrial emissions. It disproportionately effects the elderly, children, asthmatics, and other people who suffer from respiratory issues like COPD. For those effected, ground level ozone can cause coughing, wheezing, varying degrees of difficult breathing and pain in the chest.

The best way to handle ground level ozone is to reduce exposure as much as possible. As a few helpful ways to reduce exposure to ozone,
  • Check local news and weather reports for daily air quality index ratings
  • Avoid areas of high traffic and congestion
  • Stay indoors during peak hours, with safer times being in the mornings and evenings
  • Close your windows, and to keep cool use an air conditioner
  • Avoid excercising outdoors
By following just a few simple suggestions you can reduce your exposure to ozone, breathe easier, and hopefully enjoy your summers a little more. For instances when you do have trouble breathing or are experiencing pain while breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Author: Kevin Gilmore

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