Ozone occurs in two places within Earth’s atmostphere: up high and nearby.
The ozone layer is located 6-30 miles above Earth’s surface. This protective layer of ozone reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching Earth’s surface. We like the upper ozone layer and want to preserve it. This isn’t the ozone we’re talking about avoiding today.
Ground-level ozone, which is in the air with breathe, is the result of a chemical reaction triggered by warm temperatures and sunlight. When Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) mix in the presence of sunlight, ground-level ozone is formed, which is harmful to the environment and your health. Check out some everyday sources of NOx and VOCs in the list to the right.
Wichita and the surrounding MSA generate both NOx and VOC emissions due to our industry and way of life. Slight behavior changes can make a big difference to improve our air quality and eliminate ground-level ozone.