- 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 first "Ozone Alert Day" of 2019 was June 20th.
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.
- 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
Since 2000, there have been more than 150 days with an Ozone Alert issued for Tulsa County. There is a table below that breaks down the Ozone Alert Days issued by year and month.
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