Week 2: Discussions about Ozone

It seems like the general consensus among my friends is that the discussion of “Ozone” has fallen off the list of major environmental issues, and has been replaced by Global Warming. 

 

Stratospheric “Ozone” seems to be people’s primary understanding of Ozone.  A few friends also knew about it being used commercially for purification of hot tubs and also drinking water.

 

There is not a lot of knowledge about ground level ozone being one of the 6 primary air pollutants.  I also did not know about this.  It turns out that ground-level ozone is the primary constituent of smog and is the most complex, difficult to control and pervasive of the 6 primary air pollutants and unlike other pollutants, ozone is not emitted into the air by specific sources.  Ozone is created by sunlight acting on both NOx and VOC in the air.  And there are many sources: gasoline vapors, chemical solvents, consumer products, etc.

 

Ground level ozone has a significant health effects on the respitory system, and reduces lung function and induces respiratory inflammation.  It is also responsible for crop loss and damages forest ecosystems.

 

I was interested to learn about the issues with ground level ozone, because I had no idea.

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One friend remembered that the Clinton administration was proposing regulations on carbon emissions to reduce global warming, much like was done earlier to reduce the use of CFCs in order to reduce the detrimental effects on the ozone layer, which was largely successful.

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