Ozone Threats: 5 Things You Need To Know


by Katy Farber

Many of you have heard about President Obama’s recent decision to pull new EPA regulations on ozone, or smog, in America.

EPA head administrator, Lisa Jackson and her agency supported and hoped to move forward on these regulations to protect the public health. They would have saved 1,500 to 12,000 lives, prevented thousands of cases of respiratory infections, asthma attacks and cases of bronchitis per year.

Do you disagree with Obama’s decision? I do…and many, many other organizations do too. But bashing President Obama won’t help us solve the problem.

5 Things You Need To Know About Ozone:

1. Ozone, at ground level, is also known as smog. According to the EPA, it consists of “…motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents as well as natural sources emit NOx and VOC that help form ozone.”

2. Ozone is exacerbated by sunlight and hot weather which create unhealthy concentrations of ozone in air.

3. The ozone we need to protect, occurs in the earth’s atmosphere, 10-30 miles above the earth’s surface, where it shields earth from harmful radiation from the sun. Depleted ozone increases global temperatures, causing more extreme weather and harmful climate changes in habitats and in human communities.

4. Ozone depletion can also increase skin cancer, cataracts, and harm animals.

5. The recent news of delaying ozone standards relates to ground level ozone, often called smog, that currently causes multiple health problems and premature deaths across our country.

Who Is At Risk?

According to the American Lung Association, there are 5 specific groups of people vulnerable to the health effects of high rates of ozone, or smog in the air:

1. children and teens

2. people 65 and older

3. people who work or exercise outdoors

4. people with existing lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also *known as COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis)

5. “responders” who are otherwise healthy but for some reason react more strongly to ozone.

The American Lung Association shares these symptoms: shortness of breath; chest pain when inhaling; wheezing and coughing; asthma attacks; increased susceptibility to respiratory infections; increased susceptibility to pulmonary inflammation; and increased need for people with lung diseases, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to receive medical treatment and to go to the hospital.

So, who’s at risk? The lives of thousands…especially our most vulnerable.

More Threats

President Obama’s decision is sadly only one of the current threats to clean air. The TRAIN Act bill, which passed last week in the House is now on its way to the the Senate. The TRAIN Act is a delaying tactic created to protect polluters’ right to pollute.

Don’t take this sitting down. Take Action.

The delay of new ozone standards, and the TRAIN Act are just the tip of the iceberg, which is why we need to be active on several fronts. To protect our kids from toxic air, we need to STOP the current EPA threats in Congress. Stop the TRAIN Act here, by adding your voice.

Join the Moms Clean Air Force to stay informed and to show your support for the right to clean, healthy air for all.

Contact the White House and express your disappointment with the delay of the new life saving ozone standards. If enough of us to do this, the timeline may be moved up. Or use this form from the Environmental Defense Fund to contact the president.

In addition, consider finding out: Where do presidential candidates stand on clean air? We’ve mostly heard that they want to gut the EPA. Let’s stand together with moms and dads all over the country to support candidates, politicians and officials who work for clean, healthy air, water, and soil, and protect our children from air pollution threats.

Re-posted from Moms Clean Air Force. Learn more on Facebook.


Related Stories:

“Eye Of the Future” Gives Children Clean Air Hope

Why the Axed Ozone Regulations Would Have Created Jobs

California’s San Joaquin Valley Produces Agriculture and Air Pollution



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Loo Samantha
Loo sam5 years ago


Dakota Payne
Dakota Payne6 years ago

Thank you for the info......keep us informed..........we do DO appreciate you all for keeping us in the proverbial loop

Vernon W.
Vernon W6 years ago

Obama is turning his back on many environmental regulations in hopes of gaining campaign donations from the pollution industries. Obama is a gutless appeaser. He has lost my contributions and my vote.

Jess Carson
Jess Carson6 years ago

I signed the petition!

Marcia Machado
Marcia Machado6 years ago

Thanks for the info

Gayle J.
Gayle, J6 years ago

I guess clean air just isn't important anymore. Since we can't count on the Democrats to stand up for the environment, should we just not go outside anymore? It's almost like pollution is now good and anyone who's for it seems to have a political platform to run on these days. It's hard to live in a world where reality is no longer accepted.

KARLOLINA G6 years ago

Good article- Thanks

Arkana Ireland
Arkana Ireland6 years ago

Quote: "Ozone, at ground level, is also known as smog."
THIS IS UTTER NONSENSE. Ozone is, chemically, three-valued Oxygen, that is O3. Whilst O2, the main part of our breathable air, is essential for our immediate survival, so serves O3 as a cell poison. In small amounts it can be used as a disinfectant - for example, instead (or additionally) of chlorine added to pool water to kill germs. But in larger amounts in the air it is dangerous - ALMOST as dangerous as CO (Carbon Monoxide). In the upper layers of the atmosphere though, it is quite useful - because it inhibits a lot of dangerous rays, attacking Earth from outer space, to reach the lower layers of the atmosphere and so possibly endangering human and animal life alike. That is why we NEED Ozone in the upper layers of the atmosphere but it is DANGEROUS to have it in our breathable air. But: Ozone is not very stable and is reacting with a lot of chemicals and gases we have already in the air - so the danger is a short living one... but that should not make us believe "oh, then we just wait and all is over". We should keep our air clean instead. SMOG is a newly invented word and assembled from SMOKE and FOG. And physically/chemically it is exactly THAT: A mixture of smoke and fog, that is, microscopically small physical particles (soot, carbon, dirt etc.), mixed with equally small drops of water and other liquids (those we pollute the air with) and a mixture of gases, breathable ones and un-breathable ones alike (dito).

Alicia N.
Alicia N6 years ago

noted with many thanks