- There are two ozone layers, an upper layer which is good and protective, and a lower layer that is harmful to our quality of life
- Excessive lower layer ozone exposure can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, and wheezing or coughing
- Taking precautions when an Ozone Alert is issued, can help minimize any further damage
The second "Ozone Alert Day" of 2017 was issued for Thursday, August 3rd, meaning that the lower layer of the ozone has reached or will reach unsafe health levels.
The first "Ozone Alert Day" of 2017 was June 8th.
Typically in Tulsa and surrounding areas, the "ozone awareness" season falls from May to September, or the hottest months of the year. What happens during these months, is that the summer-time heat "cooks" ground-level pollutants leading to the "bad" layer of ozone. These pollutants can include chemical reactions from different gasses and the sunlight, emissions from industrial facilities and utilities, motor exhaust and gasoline vapors.
If the measurements of these pollutants are above a safe level deemed by the EPA, then an Ozone Alert is issued for the area.
Long-term or repeated exposure to high levels of ozone may lead to some health problems, especially for the young, elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory problems. It is possible to experience reduced lung function and increase respiratory discomfort.
There are some things you can to do to help out on ozone alert days:
- Avoid lawn work with gas powered equipment
- Avoid filling up the gas tank in the middle of the day, wait till on your way home or another day
- Try to carpool if possible, reducing emissions from multiple cars heading to the same place
- Postpone any errands if at all possible, wait to do them on a different day
FOX23's Brad Carl has why Ozone Alert Days can be so dangerous on FOX23 News at 5.
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