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The dangers of ozone in summer

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.

Operation of ozone peaks

First, what is ozone ?

Ozone is oxidized oxygen ! It's, oxygen that reacted chemically with ... oxygen. Oxygen, of course, is good for our health, and even essential for our survival. Its oxidized form, ozone, is very harmful : it is one of the most reactive chemical compounds, it combines with many other chemical compounds and is aggressive for living cells, including ours ! This is why ozone is a monitored pollutant because it has important effects on health, especially the most fragile respiratory systems. Read on, we tell you more!

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.

0zone's effects on humans

What are the risks of a peak ozone?

Besides the fact that the urban environment is very polluted, the air itself is difficult to breathe when it is hot and humid. This is all the more complicated when the air is concentrated in ozone: a harmful gas, irritating to the eyes, the mucous membranes and the respiratory tract.Direct exposure to ozone may cause short and precipitated breathing, increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, inflammation of the lungs and respiratory tract.

For asthmatics, the effects are increased, especially for children who may have more seizures. Studies have shown that the number of asthma-related hospitalizations increases as the level of polluting particles in the air increases. When an ozone peak develops, the level of polluting particles also.For example, an epidemiological study for the city of Phoenix (Arizona, USA) estimated that the increase in the risk of asthma among children aged 5 to 13 years was 13%, for a daily PM10 level of 36 μg / m³ ( which is not a high level, below warning thresholds). Ozone peaks also increase the number of cardiovascular strokes. Illustration of the impact of ozone on all types of living cell tissue : ozone is also very harmful to plants.

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The effect of ozone on vegetation, source : airparif

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 2003, 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!

To purify your air, prefer an air ionizer without ozone?

An ionizer produces negative ions that push ultrafine particles back to the ground, and most often have a germicidal effect. But many ionizers have a constraint: they emit ozone. As you have just read this gas is very dangerous for the man when breathing, even in small quantities. If you want to equip an ionizer, find out about its properties, and its compliance with sanitary standards. If it releases ozone, it is bad for your respiratory system, for your health and for the environment. So you need to choose an ionizer related to the use you have to ensure your safety. In addition to being energy efficient and environmentally friendly, the TEQOYA range of air ionisers does not emit ozone, so you can breathe healthy air at home or at work, with security.

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To know more about harmlessness of TEQOYA's ionizers

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