The end of June and beginning of July are consistent with the downward trend in regional ozone levels we saw in the last bi-weekly report. Only three monitors recorded moderate levels this period, and overall ozone readings throughout the region are in the “Good” zone of the Air Quality Index (AQI).
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.