Bad Air Days
It is called ground-level ozone and it is the Baltimore region’s major air pollution problem. It is harmful to people who work or exercise outdoors regularly, anyone with respiratory difficulties, and especially children. High concentrations of ozone can cause shortness of breath, wheezing, and throat irritation.
The long-term effects may include reduced lung function and scarring of lung tissue. Ground-level ozone is created when a mixture of air pollutants from a variety of sources — such as the exhaust fumes from our vehicles, lawnmowers, and boats, or emissions from power plants and industrial facilities — react in sunlight. The main ozone-causing pollutants are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Because heat and sunlight are also important factors in ground-level ozone formation, ozone pollution is primarily a concern from April through October.
In the Baltimore region, motor vehicles account for about 30-40% of the ozone-causing pollutants. That is why limiting the use of single occupancy vehicles is an important step in combating this problem.
To learn more about the dangers of ozone pollution and how to help reduce it, visit the Clean Air Partners at www.cleanairpartners.net
Clean Air Partners
Clean Air Partners is a public-private partnership who’s objective is to alert people to protect themselves from unhealthy levels of ground level ozone and to help reduce air pollution. For daily air quality information, or to learn more about the organization, visit their website at: www.cleanairpartners.net