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Ozone Information

 Health Effects | Reducing Ozone | Ozone Monitoring | Eight-Hour Ozone Information | Links

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources monitors ozone across the state during the ozone season, which begins April 1 and ends Oct. 31. Naturally occurring ozone in the upper atmosphere protects the earth from the sun's harmful rays. Ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog, is a gas that is created when pollution from vehicles, businesses and power plants combine in the presence of sunlight. The pollutant is formed when heat and sunlight mix with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, and nitrogen oxides, or NOx, in the lower  atmosphere. Typically, ozone pollution is more of a problem in the hot summer months because sunlight and warm temperatures speed up the formation of ground-level ozone.

Health Effects
Exposure to ground-level ozone can contribute to health and environmental problems. Ground-level ozone is an irritant that damages lung tissue and aggravates respiratory disease. Ozone can trigger a variety of health problems. Those most susceptible to ozone include children, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing respiratory problems. Children are at increased risk from exposure to ground-level ozone because their lungs are still developing. Healthy adults can experience problems breathing, especially those who exercise or work outdoors.

Reducing Ozone
Simple everyday steps can help reduce the emission of harmful pollutants that are derived from vehicles and coal-fired power plants that produce our energy. These emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.

Ozone-reducing activities include:

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Ozone Monitoring
The department maintains and collects data from air monitors across Missouri to see if Missouri’s air quality meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards. If an area monitors or contributes to violations of the ozone standard, actions must be taken to reduce the emissions that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. The department works with affected areas to develop emission reducing measures that are the most effective in terms of cost and emission reductions.

Ozone Monitoring Data

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Eight-Hour Ozone Information

Revised 2008 8-hour Ozone Standard Boundary Recommendation (12/11)

Boundary Recommendation Letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The 2008 8-Hour Ozone Boundary Recommendation Documents
The 2008 8-Hour Ozone Boundary Designation Process

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Other Ozone Links

Air Quality
APCP Calendar of Events
The Darker Side of Ozone
EPA Ozone webpage
Help fight ozone this summer!
Kansas City AirQ - Kansas City Air Quality Forecast
Missouri Air Quality Monitoring Network
Other Environmental Links
Ozone - Something you can easily reduce!
St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership - St. Louis Air Quality Forecast

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