Spring weather in Texas can be beautiful, with sunny skies and seemingly clear air. But what we don’t always see is ozone forming in the atmosphere because of that bright sunshine.
Where does ozone come from?
Ozone, often called smog, forms when the sunlight causes reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. These NOx and VOCs enter the air through vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities.
Why is ozone harmful?
It’s important to reduce ozone because high levels can aggravate symptoms in people who have decreased lung function. May is Clean Air Month, so what better time to take action to improve our air quality?
Take Care of Texas has ways you can decrease the amount of ozone that forms in the atmosphere.
- Limit driving and idling: carpool, combine errands, use public transportation, ride a bike, or walk.
- Refuel your vehicle in the late afternoon or evening.
- Keep your vehicle maintained, including keeping tires properly inflated.
- Maintain your yard equipment, including changing the oil and replacing air filters regularly. Also consider using tools without motors. Hand tools such as shears, edgers, and push reel mowers are lightweight, quiet, and easy to use, and do not generate emissions.
- Don’t burn yard waste.
- Use paint and cleaning products with fewer or no volatile organic compounds.