What's in the Air?
The safest thing to do on red or purple ozone days is to stay indoors - take cover, it's not safe to breathe the air.
Every year, the number of ozone alert days increases in Houston.
There is reason for alarm regarding the contents of the air we breathe, even on days when no ozone alert is sounded. The air in the Houston area includes a long list of toxic chemicals that can be amplified when absorbed in fine particles of burnt carbon. These particles spew out of power plant and refinery smoke stacks as well as the exhaust pipes of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. The burnt carbon particles are like activated charcoal in the atmosphere - carrying other more toxic substances on their surface. One part per million of benzene absorbed or carried in carbon particles becomes 1,000 times more concentrated and is highly toxic. These tiny, toxic particles can become lodged in the deeper part of the lungs.
To help reduce toxins, particulate matter and ozone:
Think before you drive - carpool, combine errands and take public transportation when you can.
Avoid excessive idling of your automobile and keep you car well-tuned.
Defer lawn and gardening chores that use gasoline-powered equipment.
Find ways to conserve energy and
Contact your local, state and national representatives and let them know you want a responsible energy policy, and proper monitoring and control of emissions from petrochemical refineries and power plants.