You may be familiar with the term "Ozone Action Day," especially during our hot summer days. But do you know what the term means? It's something we should all take seriously, especially if we have children who are active outside, or care for someone with breathing problems.

Let's first define the word 'ozone.' According to Weather Underground, It is a colorless gas composed of three atoms of oxygen that forms in the atmosphere and at surface levels. That's about as technical as I'm going to get because this is not a science lesson!

According to Weather Underground, an Ozone Action Day is triggered when weather conditions combine with pollution emissions to form high levels of ozone near the ground that could have harmful effects.

There are several things to consider on a day like this, including:

  • Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Choose a cleaner commute -- share a ride to work or use public transportation.
  • Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
    Defer use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
  • Combine errands and reduce trips.
  • Limit engine idling.
  • Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) sets an ozone forecast for different cities every day between March and November in Texas. You can learn more about ozone pollution and its health effects here.

Enjoy the day, but remember to take care of yourself and those you care about. Also, check on any elderly neighbors that may be affected.

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