Ground-level ozone is a component of pollution and photochemical smog. Atmospheric ozone exists in the stratosphere, and absorbs harmful UV rays from the sun, thus preventing these harmful rays from reaching the Earth’s surface.
Whether ozone is helpful or harmful all depends on where it is. As beth said, ozone in the ozone layer protects us from UV radiation, while ozone on the ground does damage to our lungs. This is just like how fire in a fireplace can keep you warm, while a fire in your couch is a serious problem.
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