8-Hour Ozone Averages Report, Aug. 8 – 21

The Houston area’s ozone-forecast season is far from over. In fact, the region has the longest ozone season in the state: from March 1 to November 30. Despite that fact, we have good news to report in this biweekly ozone report. After several consecutive unhealthy ozone days in the last bi-weekly report, we’re pleased to report substantially lower values in this latest ozone report. In fact, this period saw no incidence of 8-hour ozone average values that exceeded the “Good” range of the Air Quality Index (AQI). While the region may breathe a collective sigh of relief, we still have several months to go before the end of ozone-season. It’s important to remain aware of the conditions that lead to high ozone values and what to do when values are high.

Ozone forms when a mixture of chemicals, mostly from tailpipes and smokestacks, reacts in sunlight. Exposure to the pollutant can lead to asthma attacks, heart disease and even premature death.

Residents can help prevent ozone pollution by sharing a ride or carpooling, walking or riding a bicycle, taking your lunch to work, avoiding idling your engines at schools and in drive-through lanes, conserving energy, and keeping your vehicle properly tuned.

When high ozone is predicted, the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) issue alerts, which are announced online and via email. TCEQ issues a daily air quality forecast taken from EPA and AirNow and announces ozone actions days online. You can also sign up for email or text alerts from TCEQ. TCEQ’s Twitter account also posts the daily air quality forecast during the week.