Jacksonville, Florida’s, ozone pollution reach hazardous levels

Jacksonville's Regulatory Compliance Department announced that the city's ozone levels have reached hazardous levels.

According to the Jacksonville, Florida, Regulatory Compliance Department, the city came under an air quality advisory on August 22 due to excessive amounts of ozone in the atmosphere.

{new para} Current weather conditions have been cited as contributing to this development, with ozone levels traditionally lower during the early morning and late evening hours. Nevertheless, the department is urging that children, the elderly and other people sensitive to pollutants remain indoors as ozone pollution can lead to more frequent asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments. Avoiding any strenuous activities and substituting outdoor exercises for less vigorous routines, like walking instead of jogging, can also alleviate any reactions to the increased ozone presence.

Ground-level ozone, formed primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, traditionally increases when temperatures rise. This is why summertime usually sees the most ozone pollution warnings. According to a Huffington Post article, ozone pollution also harms crops by slowing down the photosynthesis process of plants. The relationship between ozone and climate change has been the source of much discussion over the last few decades, even drawing attention from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Colette Heald of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tells The Huffington Post that the EPA’s Clean Air Act has been effective, saying that “despite an increase in vehicle miles driven and energy consumption, surface ozone has declined by 25 percent on average across the U.S. from 1980 to 2012. However, the future of ozone air quality in the U.S. and around the world will depend on local emissions, the use of pollution control technology, regulations, and air quality policy.”

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