Educate: Air pollution may contribute to a variety of lung diseases and other respiratory problems. Exposure to ground-level ozone and other pollutants in the air may also cause flare-ups and may increase the chance of upper respiratory infections, which can worsen asthma symptoms. Ozone on the ground is much different than the ozone in our upper atmosphere; it’s produced when sunlight reacts with nitrous oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). NOx and VOCs come from natural sources and anthropogenic sources.
Enact: The Department of Environmental Quality has taken action by forecasting during the months of elevated ozone occurrence (January-March) in Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin, and advising the public on when forecasted weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ozone. Information on ozone and the health effects of ozone are available at the Wyoming Department of Health website: >http://www.health.wyo.gov.
Empower: We can’t solve the ozone problem by ourselves, but we can all pitch in to help by carpooling, using public transportation, riding a bike, walking, using gasoline powered equipment later in the evening when air quality improves and by not using paints or solvents that produce fumes. You can monitor ozone levels in or near your town with Air Quality Division’s monitoring stations, which can be found at www.wyvisnet.com.