What is Air Pollution?

On a hot summer day, you may notice a brownish gray haze masking our beautiful sky. This is likely caused by air pollution. Air pollution is the contamination of our air by harmful substances such as carbon monoxide and random particles. A primary contaminant in the Arlington air is ground-level ozone. Unlike the protective ozone layer in our atmosphere, ground-level ozone is a harmful pollutant that can cause negative health effects. Although this "bad ozone" is an invisible gas, it is an indicator of the severity or presence of smog.

Where is the Ozone?

Ozone occurs in two layers of the earth’s atmosphere, the troposphere and stratosphere. Ground-level or “bad” ozone can accumulate in the troposphere, polluting the earth’s surface. High in the stratosphere, "good" ozone provides protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Remember, ozone is "good up high, bad nearby."

What causes Air Pollution?

Cough. Cough. Our vehicles are the primary source of air pollution in Arlington. But aren’t today’s cars cleaner? Yes, however we are driving more, and there are more cars and trucks on the road. Industrial facilities and refineries, fuel-powered machinery and household products also add harmful chemicals to our air. Even painting, mowing, barbecuing and pumping gas cause air pollution.

One hour of mowing equates to 50 or more miles driving.

Higher levels of air pollution usually occur on hot sunny days with light winds. In Texas, this is primarily from March through October. Emissions from cars, trucks and other sources react with the warm sun, creating ground-level ozone and pollution.

Chemicals and emissions released into the air before 10:00 are the most damaging because it gives them longer to “bake,” creating bad, unhealthy ozone at ground level.

Tune up your car and get an oil change: a poorly maintained car can produce the same amount of air pollution as 28 well-maintained cars.
Keep your car running clean with REGULAR OIL CHANGES.

Why should I care?

Because it’s your air. Air pollution can cause health problems such as lung inflammation, skin damage, headaches, burning eyes and scratchy throats. High concentrations of certain air pollutants are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injury, cancer, or birth defects.

Individuals with respiratory problems, people with heart or lung disease, children, elderly residents, athletes and pregnant women are at high risk for health problems from air pollution. Those who play, work or exercise outdoors breathe pollutants deeper into their lungs, which can increase the chance of negative health effects. Chemicals and particles in the air also reduce visibility and can damage buildings and monuments.

Air pollution harms our loved ones, our environment and our property. The frequency of Air Pollution Watch and Warning days indicates our serious
pollution problem.

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"Do Your Share For Cleaner Air" video

Audio clips are in mp3 format.

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