Air Quality Awareness week – Monday

THIS WEEK MARKS THE BEGINNING OF OZONE SEASON FOR MANY AREAS IN THE UNITED STATES. IN THE MID-SOUTH THE OZONE SEASON OCCURS FROM APRIL 1ST THROUGH OCTOBER 31ST.

EACH DAY OF AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK WILL FEATURE A UNIQUE TOPIC RELEVANT TO EDUCATION AND PREPAREDNESS. TODAY WE HIGHLIGHT 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. OZONE POLLUTION CAN REACH UNHEALTHFUL LEVELS DURING THE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL MONTHS ACROSS THE MID SOUTH.

PARTICLE POLLUTION…OR AIRBORNE PARTICULATE MATTER…CONSISTS OF MICROSCOPIC PARTICLES IN THE AIR. IN THE MID SOUTH…PARTICULATE MATTER POLLUTION CAN OCCUR YEAR ROUND. 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.

TOMORROW WE WILL LEARN HOW THESE POLLUTANTS FORM AND CREATE POOR AIR QUALITY CONDITIONS.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON AIR QUALITY AWARENESS WEEK…VISIT THE WORLD WIDE WEB AT http://www.airquality.noaa.gov/

… courtesy NWS/Memphis

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