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U.S. city of Houston issues air quality alert for ozone pollution

(Xinhua)

09:03, September 12, 2012

HOUSTON, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Officials in the U.S. metropolis of Houston on Tuesday issued a pollution warning for some local areas due to dangerous ozone levels.

The warning was in place for the areas of Houston, Galveston and Brazoria, according to an online report by The Houston Chronicle.

The warning was issued because atmospheric conditions are favorable for increased ozone pollution in the region, the newspaper said.

Ozone is an extremely reactive gas molecule that is the primary ingredient of smog air pollution and is very harmful to breathe. Ozone attacks lung tissue by reacting chemically with it.

Elevated levels of ozone can act as a lung irritant. Young people and the elderly, as well as those with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma and emphysema, should avoid exposure.

The American Lung Association ranks Houston No. 8 among the most ozone-polluted U.S. cities.

A new local website was launched in August this year for people to track ozone pollution down to the neighborhood level in this city of over 2.1 million.

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