Ozone Season Intensifies with August

Outdoor enthusiasts beware — the ozone season is upon us. What is ozone season? When ozone stays at ground level, it acts as a harmful pollutant. While pollution affects us year-round, during certain months, this pollution intensifies. Ozone season is the period where the pollution is at its worst. In the past, the EPA has considered it to cover the months from March to October. However, in 2015, they extended ozone season to November 30.

A number of factors contribute to the problem. The emissions from cars, household sprays and aerosols, manufacturing industries and more react with sunlight and heat to increase the amounts of ground-level ozone. In certain areas, such as valleys, the affects can be even worse, since the ozone smog fills valley floors and hangs for longer periods. It’s also a huge problem in cities, with the number of cars emitting exhaust.

August, with its high heat levels, is an especially dangerous part of ozone season. While most healthy people won’t have too many issues, the elderly, children and those with lung issues, such as asthma, are at greater risk of getting sick. The EPA advises people to stay indoors on days when ozone levels are high. If that’s not possible, it’s best to at least limit the amount of time you’re exposed to the smog.

Be sure to check the daily smog or ozone report if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.

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