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CTnow

The Ozone and your health

by Jason Boyer

KWGN News

June 3, 2008

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There are two types of ozone, good ozone, which is found in the upper-levels of the atmosphere which protects us from dangerous UV radiation; and bad ozone, the kind produced from car and industrial emissions. It typically forms near the ground on days like this, and in higher concentrations can have serious health affects.

"It attacks certain cells in the lungs," said Dr. Nathan Rabinovitch from National Jewish Medical Center.

With continued exposure, killing them. Although it can be unhealthy for everyone, some are affected more than others.

Rabinovitch said, "If you have heart disease, if you have respiratory disease, if you're older."

In response to the increasing health risks, the EPA has lowered their ozone concentration standards.

Ken Lloyd, Executive Director with the Regional Air Quality Council said, "The lowering of the standard is quite significant, it went from effectively eighty parts per billion to seventy-five parts per billion."

Meaning it will take less ozone pollution to be in violation.

There are some simple things you and I can do to limit our pollution on high ozone days. Like putting off mowing the lawn for another day, or mowing later in the evening. Also try and re-fuel in the evening, and when you hear the click, quit...and return it to the pumping station. And always make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed.

These actions can certainly help, but a lot rides on Mother Nature.

"It can fluctuate throughout the Summer, just depending on how hot and how sunny it is," said Lloyd.