Ozone way up in the atmosphere... good. Ozone near the ground... bad.
SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments) says the air outside could be unhealthy today. The group says "elements have been in place for a few days now – sunny skies, hot temperatures, and southerly winds. Admittedly this is beautiful weather, but the ongoing nature of these conditions is compromising our air quality and enabling ground-level ozone to remain high."
Ground level ozone is bad for the lungs. Got a scratchy throat? Coughing a little more? It could be from the ground level ozone concentrations. The American Lung Association says five groups of people are especially vulnerable to the effects of breathing ozone:
- children and teens
- anyone 65 and older
- people who work or exercise outdoors
- people with existing lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- “responders” who are otherwise healthy but for some reason react more strongly to ozone
Experts say to cut down on the amount of ground-level ozone being formed, you can take fewer car trips (ride a bike, or take a bus) and wait to use lawn equipment. Basically, wait to burn stuff (fuel, wood, charcoal) if you can help it.