Ozone is good up high, but bad nearby. High concentrations of ground-level ozone can create breathing problems, especially for children, people with asthma or other respiratory problems, and adults who work or exercise outdoors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ozone can also cause tree and crop damage.
The most significant things to cause ground-level ozone to form are oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and UV radiation from sunlight. High ozone concentrations generally occur on hot, sunny days when the air is stagnant. Mobile sources of air pollution, such as cars, trucks, and lawn equipment, contribute to more than half of South Carolina's ozone levels.
Clean air helps us live healthier lives. DHEC monitors ozone levels from March 31 to September 31 each year and provides ozone forecasts to help the public make healthy decisions about outdoor activities. If ozone levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels, DHEC will declare an 'ozone action day' advising people to reduce their activity levels outdoors - especially those with respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
Ways to get the South Carolina ozone forecast:
Other Ozone Forecasts
Don't live in South Carolina? Here are some useful links to find the ozone forecast in other areas:
There are safe ways to limit your exposure to ozone without reducing healthy physical activity.