Are You Air Aware?
The South East Texas Regional Planning Commission’s Ozone Program is designed to inform citizens about the quality of the air they breathe and steps they can take to keep it free of smog and pollutants.
Stay Air Aware
You can be part of the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission Ozone Action Day Program. We’ll notify you the afternoon before a broadcasted Ozone Action Day.
Know Your Ozone
- Children are at greatest risk from exposure to ozone because their lungs are still developing and they are more likely to be active outdoors when ozone levels are high, which increases their exposure.
- Driving one’s own vehicle is probably a typical person’s most polluting daily activity.
- Ozone, also referred to as smog, mainly forms the highest concentrations on sunny days with slow wind speeds, which allow pollutants to accumulate.
- Summer days in Texas can be conducive for ozone formation as pressure systems dominate our local weather patterns, giving us clear skies and stagnant winds.
- From 2000 to 2010, ozone levels across Texas decreased by 27 percent.
- Studies have shown that short-term exposure to peak levels of ozone can temporarily affect the lungs, the respiratory tract, and the eyes, and increase susceptibility to inhaled allergens.
- Outdoor ozone levels vary across city areas and times of the day, with peaks in the afternoon.
- Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.
- Approximately one out of every three people in the United States is susceptible to ozone-related health problems, including shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, and throat and lung irritation.
- Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC, which combine to form ozone.
- Everyone’s respiratory system is potentially at risk from ozone, including shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and eye and nose irritation.