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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 4:30 PM EDT on May 03, 2016


... This is air quality awareness week...

This is an opportunity to learn more about air quality and how it
affects your health.

There are two types of air pollution: ozone and particle pollution.

These are two common pollutants found in many parts of the country.

Ozone is a colorless odorless gas. It is the same gas that is found
in the ozone layer... high in the earth's stratosphere... where it
protects US from the sun's ultraviolet energy. But at ground level
where we live... ozone pollution is unhealthy to breathe.

Particle pollution... or airborne particle pollution... consists of
microscopic particles in the air. Depending on where you live... it
can be a problem in the winter and/or Summer. Like ozone... particle
pollution is not healthy to breathe. The particles also contribute
to haze which blurs The View in many cities and National Parks.

Now we will highlight the causes of poor air quality.

Air quality can vary depending on how much air pollution is produced
in your community... how much pollution is carried into your
community by the wind and by weather conditions.

Ozone forms when two groups of key pollutants... nitrogen oxides and
volatile organic compounds... Cook in the sun. Particle pollution can
be directly emitted... for example... in smoke from a woodstove... but
a lot of particles form when gases react in the air. Nitrogen oxides
and sulfur dioxides contribute to particle formation.

These ozone and particle forming pollutants come from a wide variety
of sources... including cars... trucks... buses... power plants... and
industries. Natural sources such as wildfires and duststorms
contribute to particle pollution. Trees and other vegetation also
Emit organic compounds that contribute to particle and ozone
pollution.

Weather plays a big role in The Levels of ozone and particle
pollution in your community. Sunlight and heat promote ozone
formation. Light winds and temperature inversions can keep pollution
concentrated near the ground. Depending on its duration... the wind
can bring in more pollution... sometimes from hundreds of miles away.
Geography can affect pollution levels too. Mountain ranges can
prevent pollution from dispersing.

Tomorrow we will learn about the health impacts of poor air quality.

For more information on air quality awareness week... visit US at
www.Airquality.NOAA.Gov. That is www.Airquality.NOAA.Gov.


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