Jim Murphy & Sons

Record temperatures create ‘bad’ ozone

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school bus exhaust fumes

While school buses contribute to ‘bad’ ozone, they’re a form of car pooling. Long term, ‘taking the bus’ is something for parents and school officials to consider when deciding who gets to ride the bus to a from school.

The current stretch of record high late summer temperatures threatens more than just discomfort. Combined with sunny days and emissions produced from vehicles and other gas-powered equipment, the result is higher levels of ground-level ozone – or “bad” ozone, according to the City’s Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks.

“If humidity and windless conditions become a factor, the “recipe” for an “ozone stew” is complete,” says Lucks.

Ground level ozone is problematic for the Ozarks for several reasons, including posing a health threat for our youngest, elderly, and, those with ongoing compromised health conditions. What can you do to reduce ground level ozone?

  • Drive your gasoline-powered vehicle less (and save money); better yet, carpool with co-workers or neighbors.
  • “Trip Chain” your travel by organizing errands to minimize travel miles.
  • Consider public transportation.
  • Don’t top off your gas tank as this releases compounds that are a part of the ozone recipe.
  • Refuel during off-peak ozone times; fill up in the early morning or at night.
  • Operate your other gas-powered equipment during off-peak times – for example, mow your lawn in the early morning.
  • Be sure your power equipment is tuned properly – this reduces emissions.

For more “Ozone Facts,” along with current air quality readings visit Ozarks Clean Air Alliance
AirNow.gov. To sign up to receive air quality advisories, visit Airnow.gov and click on EnviroFlash e-Mails.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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