Health

The dangers and consequences of ozone peaks

The dangers and consequences of ozone peaks
Summer is often the season of peak ozone, the concentration of this gas being above average. When we are exposed to ozone, we put ourselves at risk and take risks that can have a strong impact on us.

How is an ozone peak formed?

An ozone peak is an accumulation of ozone in the lower atmosphere, that is, around us. During an ozone peak of 240 μg / m³, the alert threshold is crossed. An ozone peak occurs when three conditions are met:

  • Significant automobile traffic, a condition often encountered in urban areas: it is responsible for about 60% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, a primary pollutant involved in the formation of ozone.
  • Strong sunshine, and a temperature of at least 25 ℃: This condition usually occurs between May and August.
  • A weak atmospheric circulation: in the absence of wind, the atmospheric pressure increases, which creates a layer of stagnant air where the ozone accumulates.

Learn more about the heat factor and air pollution

How to react to an ozone peak

Ozone is two times less concentrated at home than outdoor so stay as much at home as possible. Furthermore:

  • limitate your activities from 12h to 21h.
  • Air your home in the morning.
  • Opt for fare-paying travel and moderate the use of your car.

The ozone level is the most important at the time of maximum sunshine, that is to say in the afternoon. Inquire about peaks of pollution during the summer. Multiple mobile applications offer this tracking, such as those of Plume Labs and Air Visual. It is very important to react and be informed about heat waves / ozone pollution because in DESK3, there were 70000 deaths in Europe.

The heat, with the peaks of ozone, is only growing: the population uses air conditioning, which pollutes even more, causes this warming, participates in the greenhouse effect and feeds a vicious circle. Drink water to cool off!

Reading next

Bien-être: des astuces pour un intérieur agréable et sain (French)
Pollution de l'air: quelles conséquences pour la santé? (French)

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