In general terms, Ozone is a natural gas which is composed of three atoms of Oxygen. It is typically blue in colour and has a very distinct strong odour. Ozone Gas, to be understood better has been divided into 2 categories, i. e. Good Ozone and Bad Ozone.
This ozone is generally present in the Stratospheric Environment, which typically is 10-50 kilometres over the Earth’s Surface.
This gas is typically found in the Troposphere which is the layer forming the current atmosphere. Bad ozone is not a naturally occurring gas, it is subsequently formed by human actions causing the chemical reaction between gases. It ranges from 0-10 kilometres causing serious air pollution.
What causes the Ozone Gas in the Environment?
Preferably the “Good Ozone” or the Stratospheric Gas is what should be prevalent in the environment for protecting the levels of pollution but since about almost a decade, this “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by man-made chemicals referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS), including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform and these are also one of the various gases leading to pollution in the air, harming the Air Quality. These substances were formerly used and sometimes still are used in coolants, foaming agents, fire extinguishers, solvents, pesticides, and aerosol propellants leading for the rise of “Bad ozone” which was not prevalent before.
Ozone and Health Effects.
Breathing of Tropospheric levels of Ozone can highly affect the health of people, especially on hot and sunny days as then the levels of ozone gas are extremely high and are the worst form of air quality.
The people who are most at risk due to the intake of ozone gas through breathing it are especially, children, old people, people having cases of asthma and people who spend their time outdoors the most, like the Outdoor Workers. There are also people who have lesser immunity and have less intake of nutrients such as Vitamin C and E also have a greater riser to be affected by the Ozone exposure.
Moreover, there are certain health factors caused by Ozone Gas, such as:-
- Making it severely hard to breathe profoundly and vigorously.
- Making the throats scratchy and causing cough.
- Causing irritation in eyes, lungs and throat.
- Causing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary diseases (COPD).
- Pain, burning, or discomfort in the chest when taking a deep breath
- Chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath.
These effects are generally greater upon the people who have respiratory problems such as Asthma or any other lung problems but it is not necessary that it only affects those people. The effects of the Ozone Gas is also checked upon the people with a healthy lifestyle and such.
In general terms, the Ozone Gas is not soluble in the water leading it to be transported only through the air causing Respiratory Tract Disorders. This gas also affects the people due to short exposure to increase the case of asthma or by the long exposure causing asthma in people who are healthy.
The ozone gas along with the other symptoms also has been seen upon causing higher mortality rates, especially in Older people.
There are different standards of Air Quality Levels(AQI) for air pollution:-