Is ozone dangerous to humans?



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    There are differnt types of ozone, some which are necessary to human life, others which are harmful to humans’ health and the health of the environment. Ground level ozone is important to humans because it acts as protective layer high above the earth, but at the same time ground level ozone can be harmful to breathe. Ground level ozone is the central matter that makes up smog. Ozone is concocted and not released directly into the air, because it is formed by nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.

    High altitude ozone is in the stratosphere and formed the protective layer that shields us from harmful ultraviolet rays.The problem is it is gradually being destroyed by chloroflurocarbons and other ozone deplteting substances. Ozone is disappearing at a much faster rate than it is being replaced naturally.

    Here are some things the EPA says you can do to help prevent ozone depletion and keep our air clean:

    High Altitude Ozone:

    • Make sure that technicians working on your car air conditioner, home air conditioner, or refrigerator recover the refrigerant (This is required by law).
    • Have your car and home air conditioner units and refrigerator checked for leaks. When possible, repair leaky air conditioning units before refilling them.
    • Properly dispose of refrigeration or air conditioning equipment (This is required by law).
    • Protect yourself against intense sunburn. Wear UV-screening sunglasses and hats to shield yourself from harmful rays. Also, apply sunscreen.

    Ground-Level Ozone:

    • Keep your automobile tuned-up and well-maintained.
    • Carpool and/or reduce driving.
    • Be careful not to spill gasoline when filling up your car or gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.
    • Make sure your tires are properly inflated and your wheels aligned.
    • Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs.
    • Seal containers containing household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals to prevent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from evaporating into the air.

    [Text from U.S. EPA Publication, July 1997]r

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