What is ozone?
Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for people's health and for the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere.

In the troposphere, the air closest to the Earth's surface, ground-level or "bad" ozone is a pollutant that is a significant health risk, especially for children with asthma . It also damages crops, trees, and other vegetation. It is a main ingredient of urban smog.

Motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents as well as natural sources emit NOx and VOC that help form ozone. Ground-level ozone is the primary constituent of smog. Sunlight and hot weather cause ground-level ozone to form in harmful concentrations in the air. As a result, it is known as a summertime air pollutant.

Show All Answers

1. What is ozone?
2. Why is ozone a summer air challenge?
3. How does ozone affect my health and the health of my family?
4. What are possible health effects due to high ozone levels?
5. Does ozone threaten Shelby County's air status?
6. What can I do to prevent ozone pollution?