Monday, July 03, 2006

The Ozone Factor

Ozone, one of the most common air pollutants, triggers asthma because it is extremely irritating to the lungs and airways. It is created when hydrocarbons from burned fuel and nitrogen oxide are present along with certain sunlight and wind conditions. Ozone concentration is directly related to asthma attacks, the need for higher doses of asthma drugs, and emergency treatment for asthma.

Throughout the United States, cities declare Ozone Action Days when pollution concentrations are highest. These warnings help people with asthma to avoid the smog as much as possible. You can hear about Ozone Action Days during the weather report on your local news.

On Ozone Action Days, people with asthma should limit their time outdoors, especially from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Stay in a well ventilated — preferably air-conditioned — building. Most of all, do not exercise outdoors on Ozone Action Days. As always, use your peak flow meter and follow your asthma daily management and action plans.

© Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Reproduced with permission.

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