NY: the Ozone State


Happy Memorial Day!  Now Stop Breathing.

Hope you’ve been enjoying the big 3-day Memorial Day weekend, a time when families head outside to enjoy the sunshine, clean air…<cough> <cough>…strike that last one. 


Thanks to high levels of pollution and high temperatures, most of the state was blanketed with an ozone action alert for most of the weekend.  Ground level ozone formation and air quality advisories are something we expect to see in New York City and urbanized areas.  But this weekend’s ozone alert even extended to the Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, the Hamptons , and the Great Lakes . 


Ground level ozone formation occurs when you mix the oxides of nitrogen compounds (which come predominantly from the burning of fossil fuels, like coal-fired power plants and automobile tailpipe emissions) with volatile organic compounds or VOCs, which come from industrial emissions, paint fumes, and many other sources.  For more information on ozone formation, check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone website.



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