Ozone Exposure in Sensitive Groups

Although the health effects of ozone can vary greatly between individuals, the EPA recognizes that certain “sensitive” groups may be at greater risk to the adverse effects of ozone. These sensitive groups include children, who tend to be outdoors more, have developing immune and respiratory systems, and may not be as accurately aware of their symptoms as adults. It also includes adults with respiratory disease, asthma, etc. that may already have difficulty breathing. These groups should take caution when ozone levels reach 50 ppb (yellow days) as opposed to 101 ppb (orange days) when all groups should take caution. The graphic on the left illustrates how severity of ozone-related health effects as a function on the size of the affected group.

 

Do you know the signs of an asthma attack? (source)

  • Severe wheezing when breathing both in and out
  • Coughing with asthma that won't stop
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Tightened neck and chest muscles, called retractions
  • Difficulty talking
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale, sweaty face
  • Blue lips or fingernails