is a poisonous, pungent smelling gas that is slightly bluish in
color. Naturally occurring ozone in the upper atmosphere
(Stratosphere) beneficially blocks the Sun's dangerous radiation.
However, ozone formed at ground levels from man made sources
presents a serious health hazard.
At ground level, ozone is produced when volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) react with heat and sunlight. Sources for VOCs
include cars, trucks, lawn mowers, oil based paints, cleaners and
some industrial operations. Since heat and sunlight help create
ozone, high ozone levels are primarily a summertime issue.
Children, pregnant women, elderly people, and those with heart
and lung disease are the most vulnerable to being harmed by ozone
pollution. Even the healthiest of people can be harmed by ozone
pollution if they exercise outdoors when ozone pollution levels are
Through regional efforts ozone levels in Maricopa County have
been below the health based standards since 2002.
Things you can do to help reduce ozone
pollution include the following:
Never top off your tank. Spilled gas is wasteful and increases the
emissions of the gases that react to form ozone. Spilling a cup of
gasoline puts as much ozone-forming pollution into the air as
driving a 1993 model car 160 miles.
Fill up after 4:00 p.m.; this limits the amount of
ozone produced by shortening the time gasoline fumes can react in
Reduce summer time driving, especially during rush
Replace your gasoline powered lawn equipment with
electric equipment. Mowing your lawn with gas equipment for an
hour creates as much total pollution as driving a 1993 model car
over 2,000 miles!
Major household projects, like painting, should be
done during the fall or winter rather than during the hot summer
Use water-based paint. Oil-based paints contain up
to five times more polluting solvents than water-based paints.
Many household cleaning products contain
ozone-forming chemicals. Some alternatives that pollute less
Rug and Upholstery Cleaning
Mix one part lemon
juice in two parts olive or other vegetable oil, or one teaspoon
lemon oil in one pint of mineral oil
Use the oil from
crushed black walnuts to conceal nicks and scratches.
Use club soda to remove fruit juice, tea,
gravy, ketchup or mud stains.
Immediately soak blood stains in cold
Use self lighting charcoal, chips, flakes
or cubes instead of charcoal lighter fluid.
Buy a propane, natural gas, or electric
grill instead of a charcoal grill. Any of these emit much
less pollution and are cleaner choices than a charcoal grill.
At the Store
Look at the label and avoid products that
contain petroleum distillates, highly aromatic solvents,
terrene, aliphatic hydrocarbons, glycols and benzene.