Ground level ozone, often referred to as “smog”, forms when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. This happens more frequently in the summertime.Watch a Short Video: How Ozone is Formed
Ozone: Good up high, bad nearby
There are two types of ozone: one is “good” and the other is “bad”. Ozone located 10 to 30 miles above the earth’s surface in the upper atmosphere is “good” because it protects us from the sun’s harmful rays. Ground level ozone or smog is “bad” because it can cause health problems.
Exposure to ozone can damage the lungs, aggravate asthma, and cause inflammation, irritability in the throat, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Ozone can also cause premature death from heart or lung disease. The groups that are most vulnerable to ozone are children, the elderly, those with asthma or lung problems, and those who are active outdoors.
Metro East Community Air Project
1 Regency Plaza
Collinsville, IL 62234