Ozone Alert~ 9/1/2010 ~ 9/2/2010

ALBANY – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., have issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for all regions of New York State for Sept. 1, 2010.

The pollutant of concern is: Ozone

The advisory will be in effect until: 11 p.m.

DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value leading to a greater health concern.

OZONE (O3)

Ozone (O3) is the major component of smog. Although O3 in the upper atmosphere is beneficial because it shields the earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, high concentrations of O3 at ground level are a major health and environmental concern. The reactivity of O3 causes health problems because it damages lung tissue, reduces lung function and sensitizes the lungs to other irritants. Scientific evidence indicates that ambient levels of O3 not only affect people with impaired respiratory systems, such as asthmatics, but healthy adults and children as well. Exposure to O3 for several hours at relatively low concentrations has been found to significantly reduce lung function and induce respiratory inflammation in normal, healthy people during exercise.O3 is not usually emitted directly but is formed through complex chemical reactions in the atmosphere. Precursor compounds like volatile organic compounds (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) react to form O3 in the presence of sunlight. These reactions are stimulated by ultraviolet radiation and temperature, so peak O3 levels typically occur during the warmer times of the day and year.
NAAQS: 0.12 ppm (1-hr average) and 0.08 ppm (8-hr average)