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Ozone and Oxidants

Ozone (O3) is a reactive gas that has been associated with adverse health effects in children and adults. Effects on the respiratory system are well established and include exacerbation of asthma (acute effects) and effects on lung growth (chronic effects). More recently, long-term exposure to ozone has been associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, including increased mortality. It is unclear, however, at what ozone concentrations effects start occurring. HEI's research program on ozone focuses on effects at low concentrations and on mechanisms of effects.

Photo of city smog
  • Ozone in a nutshell:
  • Ozone is created by atmospheric reactions on sunny days
  • Building blocks are nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds
  • Ground level ozone affects lung and heart health and affects crops