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Health effects of ozone pollution. Did you know that 10 to 20 percent of all summertime respiratory-related hospital visits in some areas of the U.S. are associated with ozone pollution? Motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are major sources of ozone, which usually forms in hot weather. Ozone pollution can affect anyone who spends time outdoors in the summer, particularly children, the elderly, outdoor workers and people exercising, repeated exposure to ozone pollution may cause permanent damage to the lungs. Even low ozone levels can trigger health problems in some people when it is inhaled; these can include chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion.
How Your Actions Can Help. By making some fairly simple changes in your daily or weekly routine, you can help to clean the air. For instance:
Smog is at its highest levels during the summer. Tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks account for almost half of the air pollution in the United States. You may be surprised to know that you have cleaner more fuel-efficient choices in any vehicle size you need, even an SUV.
Refueling your vehicle. Gasoline vapors are harmful to you and the environment. Not only are they toxic to breathe, they contribute to ozone formation in the atmosphere. Since gasoline vapor production increases during the hot summer months, it is important to be careful when refueling your vehicle. Here are some simple measures you can take at the gas station.
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