The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued 12 Ozone Action Days for the greater Houston area for 2018, all within the last 24 days. The highest values for the Daily Maximum Eight-Hour Ozone Averages for the first two weeks of May were all on May 7.
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 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.