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A pollutant that occurs in two layers of the atmosphere. In the stratosphere, ozone protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays. At ground-level, ozone is an air pollutant that can be harmful to human health and the environment. It is the principal component of “smog” and is produced from the action of sunlight on air contaminants from combustion sources including automobile exhausts. Ozone levels are most likely to be elevated on hot, sunny afternoons.

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This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000619-02. The contents of this Website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.