Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ozone pollution - Definition and causes

In order to properly define ozone pollution we first need to define ozone. Ozone is molecule of three oxygen atoms bound together (O3), and it is highly unstable and poisonous. We also need to know that ozone is not always bad, and the ozone that is responsible for ozone pollution is ozone at ground level, while there is also so called "good ozone" in the upper Earth's atmosphere that protects us from harmful UV radiation. What this means is that term ozone pollution refers to high concentration of ozone at ground level.

Many people think that ozone pollution forms only in urban and suburban areas but this is not entirely true as ozone pollution can also occur in rural areas though not that often.

Ozone pollution can lead to serious health damage, and lead to several respiratory diseases. This is because ozone is highly corrosive at the ground, and once inhaled it damages the bronchioles and alveoli in your lungs. People worst affected by ozone pollution are the ones that already suffer with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Ozone pollution is especially harmful for children because they are more exposed to it by spending most of their time outdoors. The doctors warn that damage caused to the developing body of a child by high concentration of ozone can happen much faster than damage to an adult, and leading to serious respiratory problems throughout the life.

How to protect yourself and your children from ozone pollution? The first you need to know is that each and every one of us can do something to reduce the ozone pollution, for instance by not using our cars during afternoon and early evening hours in the late spring, summer and early fall. Prevention is as always the best possible protection, and ozone is on exception.

Our cars and industries emit harmful organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxide gases (NOx) that combined with high temperatures and enough sunlight result in ozone pollution, which in cases when ozone concentration is very high leads to creation of smog in urban areas.

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