Study: People in parts of U.S. and beyond breathe unhealthy ozone pollution more than 2 weeks a year
People living in parts of southern Europe, South Korea and southern Japan and China also experienced more than 15 days a year of ozone levels averaging more than 70 parts per billion, the health standard established by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
These are some of the findings from the first major analysis of the most comprehensive database of surface ozone observations ever assembled — the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report offsite link— compiled from more than 4,800 ozone monitoring stations around the world. The new research was published February 5 in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropoceneoffsite link.
Ground-level ozone, the primary component of smog and one of six main pollutants regulated by the U.S. Clean Air Act, is created when natural and industrial pollutants emitted into the air react with sunlight.
“TOAR is not just a report,” said Owen Cooper, a CIRESoffsite link scientist working at NOAA who chairs the TOAR Steering Committee. “We created the largest database of surface ozone, and we’re making these data freely available to anyone who wants to investigate the impact of ozone on human health, vegetation and climate.”
Future TOAR studies will provide a global assessment of the ozone levels experienced by vegetation, observed ozone levels that affect climate as well as a historical analysis that explores how ozone levels have changed globally since the early 20th century.
> Learn more about the human health effects of ground-level ozone.