Ozone - O3
Ozone is a colorless, smelly, irritating gas made of 3 atoms of oxygen. It is created when volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides react with sunlight in the atmosphere. Ozone is a major ingredient of smog and is very toxic to humans and other life. High up in the stratosphere, ozone protects us from dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun, but at ground level it literally corrodes our lungs.
60% of ozone's ingredients come from vehicle emissions and the rest come from industry and consumer products we buy every day.
How It Hurts
Ozone (O3) damages the lungs so that we can't inhale and exhale enough air and aggravates asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. It also interferes with photosynthesis in plants.
Back to Criteria Pollutants Top Level
O3 attacks the lungs
Volatile Organic Compounds
Pollutants Add Up To Smog