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Health Indicator Report of Ozone in Outdoor Air

Ozone is an odorless, colorless gas that forms both in the air at ground level and in the Earth's upper atmosphere (the stratosphere). Ground-level ozone forms when precursor pollutants that come from cars, power plants, and other sources react with each other in heat and sunlight. While ozone in the stratosphere creates a layer that protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, ozone at ground level may irritate and damage the lungs, and harm human health in other ways. The federal health-based standard for ozone in outdoor air was 0.075 parts per million (ppm) averaged over an 8-hour period until December 2015, after which time it was lowered to 0.070 ppm.

Notes

Target is 0 days with ozone above standard. Values for years 2000-2007 are based upon the old 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08ppm. Values for years 2008-2015 reflect the 8-hour ozone standard of 0.075 ppm. Values from 2016 forward reflect the 8-hour ozone standard of 0.070 ppm. NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Monitoring.

Data Source

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Definition

Days in which the average concentration of ozone in outdoor air exceeds the regulatory standard at an ozone monitoring point

Numerator

Number of days in a year in which the ozone concentration at a monitor exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), averaged over an 8-hour period

Denominator

Not applicable

How Are We Doing?

New Jersey has an extensive system of monitors to evaluate the quality of outdoor air. Ten monitor sites operate year round, and six are operated only during the ozone season (March 1st through October 31st): Ancora in Camden Co., Clarksboro in Gloucester Co., Colliers Mills in Ocean Co., Leonia in Bergen Co., Monmouth Univ. in Monmouth Co., and Ramapo in Passaic Co. Over the years, air quality in New Jersey has been improving. More stringent federal health-based standards for both ozone and particulates, were promulgated in 2016, and require states to do more to protect human health. PM2.5 monitoring requirements were changed in 2006 (24-hour) and in 2013 (annual). The AQI uses five of the six pollutants for which there are national health-based standards (ground-level ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide) and compares pollutant levels to the federal standards in order to assign an air quality rating such as "good" or "unhealthy".

What Is Being Done?

Under the federal Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has set health-based standards for ozone in the air we breathe. The USEPA and state and local governments have instituted a variety of multi-faceted programs to meet these health-based standards. The NJDEP has adopted rules to reduce emissions of VOCs from consumer products and establish requirements that apply to manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers of VOCs. Beginning January 1, 2009, New Jersey implemented the California Low Emission Vehicle (CLEV) program. Non-regulatory programs also encourage communities to adopt practices such as carpooling to reduce harmful emissions. The NJDEP has also planted thousands of shade trees in urban areas to absorb and reduce ozone and NOx, lower temperatures, and reduce energy demand and emissions from energy generation. Success story: Recommendations for Reducing Smog Throughout NJ and Beyond [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/reducing_smog_in_nj.pdf] Success story: Air Quality and Asthma in NJ Children [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/helping_children_breathe_easier.pdf] Success story: Collaborating to Diminish Smog and Improve Health in NJ [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/clean_air_nj.pdf]

Available Services

The NJDEP's Bureau of Air Monitoring measures air pollution levels in New Jersey around the clock and compares them to national health standards. Updates and forecasts are sent to the wire services and other media, and health advisories are also issued when air pollution reaches unhealthful levels. The NJDEP's Bureau of Air Monitoring web site contains information on current air quality as well as historic trends. The web site is: [http://www.njaqinow.net/] The USEPA compiles air quality data from around the country and presents it to the public on the following web site: [http://www.airnow.gov] To sign up to receive air quality alerts, sign up at EPA's Enviroflash website: [http://www.enviroflash.info/] Throughout the year, as part of the nightly news, local TV networks frequently broadcast a map showing the next day's air quality forecast for the different regions of the state. Check your TV listings for channel information.
Page Content Updated On 12/11/2019, Published on 12/12/2019
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site (https://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 26 October 2020 12:06:24 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: https://nj.gov/health/shad ".

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