Environment
4:34 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Today's an 'Ozone Action Day' – What You Need to Know

Update: Today's the third Ozone Action Day of the year. Austin remains dangerously close to falling out of attainment of the clean air standard of 75 parts of ozone per billion. At last check, Austin was at 72.

“Being a non-attainment area it’s much harder to recruit business. It also accounts for a lot of absenteeism in schools because a lot of children have asthma and air pollution has been found to directly exacerbate asthma in children," Deanna Altenhoff, Executive Director of Clean Air of Central Texas, said.

Original Story (July 3, 2013): Today is an Ozone Action Day in counties across Central Texas.

While ozone can affect everyone, the elderly and young children, as well as people with chronic lung disease, are most sensitive.

Texas summers can be especially tough for those affected most by high levels of ground-level ozone. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says still air and sunny skies give the perfect opportunity for smog to form, irritating the respiratory system and inducing breathing problems and coughing.

Data from the TCEQ reveals that although Austin’s ozone concentrations frequently appear in the “orange zone,” or “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” the overall air quality appears to have improved over the last several years.  

The Clean Air Force of Central Texas says people can reduce air pollution emissions by riding the bus and carpooling. They also suggest waiting to pump gas and mow the lawn until after 6 p.m.