How To Better Protect Yourself From Smog In 2013
Even though temps haven’t yet risen to triple digits, the official ozone season starts this week for much of Texas (March 1 for DFW, Houston, April 1 for Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi), and based on the number of exceedances from last year, much work remains to be done.
Why? Ozone exceedances threaten lives. A recently released study reminds us of how critical clean air is to our health, especially for those who are most vulnerable to the harmful impacts of pollution. Rice University published a study this month in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, reporting a correlation between ozone exposure and heart attacks in the Houston area.
"It's long been thought there was an association between air pollution and cardiac arrest, and this study brings statistical support to that suspicion," said Texas Heart Institute President Dr. James Willerson in the Houston Chronicle.
Remember that ground level ozone – also known as smog – has been linked to premature mortality; increased hospital admissions, and emergency room visits for respiratory issues among children and adults with pre-existing respiratory disease such as asthma; as well as possible long-term lung damage. Children and the elderly with existing respiratory conditions are most at risk from smog.
EDF is working with university researchers to more fully understand how ozone and other types of air pollution contribute to disease. Early indicators point to low birth weights, for example, in babies with mothers exposed to high levels of particulate matter pollution. Read More