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How is ozone season different that winter inversion season?

Posted at 1:30 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 15:30:45-04

It's ozone season. Show UCAIR and take action for better air.

Thom Carter, Executive Director of Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), joined us with little things we all can do to make a big difference.

When it's winter and inversion season we talk a lot about air quality.
Now that we're in the middle of summer, we need to talk about ozone season.

Summer ozone pollution is a gas and winter inversion pollution is made up of particulates. Ground-level ozone is created when chemical reactions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen react with sunlight.

High levels of ground-level ozone in the summertime can have the same effects of poor air in the winter; throat irritation, worsening asthma and other respiratory issues.

Small and easy changes we all make can make a big difference.

Those things include fueling your vehicle or mowing the lawn in the evenings rather than in the mornings keeps VOCs out of the air during the heat of the day, meaning fewer ozone particles forming.

Driving less or using electric tools limits the number of pollutants that can react in the atmosphere.

Check your tire pressure, keeping tires properly inflated decreases the amount of fuel used, as well as emissions.

All the things we do in the winter; not idling, skipping a trip or walking or biking also help our air in the summertime.

With more of us teleworking, UCAIR recently sent out a survey that found some interesting results:

Teleworking participation during the pandemic
- 97% are doing some sort of teleworking during the pandemic.
-More than 55% of organizations surveyed were teleworking exclusively during the height of the pandemic.

Attitude
- 66% of employees had a positive attitude toward teleworking prior to the pandemic.
- 86% have a positive attitude about teleworking today, a 20% increase in just months.

Willingness to telework during inversions
- 94% of executives said they are 'likely' to continue to allow their employees to telework moving forward specifically during poor air quality days.
- 93% of employees say they want to continue teleworking specifically on poor air quality days.

For more information, go to the UCAIR website, U-C-A-I-R.org, there are videos and other ideas to help improve our air during the summer.

You can also download the free UtahAir app to be aware of current air quality levels where you live.