How can I protect my health?
Use this website to discover the level of ozone pollution in the area where you live.
If the level is moderate, high or very high you may consider the following cautionary guidelines:
Moderate ozone level (120-180 µg/m3)
Mild effects, unlikely to require action, may occur in sensitive individuals. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases should consider reducing exposure by limiting prolonged outdoor activities.
High ozone level (180-240 µg/m3)
Significant effects, such as breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, stinging of the eyes or throat may occur in sensitive individuals. Effects possible in children and adults who are active outdoors. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases should reduce exposure by avoiding prolonged outdoor activities. Everyone should limit prolonged outdoor activities.
Very high ozone level (>240 µg/m3)
Increasingly severe effects, such as breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, stinging of the eyes or throat may occur in sensitive individuals and in children and adults who are active outdoors. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases, children and the elderly are recommended to stay indoors. Everyone should avoid prolonged outdoor activities.
In addition to the guidelines mentioned above, you may consider the following general advice which is relevant across the full range of high ozone pollution levels:
Ozone concentrations indoors are generally lower (less than 50 %) than those outdoors. There are very few indoor sources in most homes (such as photocopiers).
Be an 'early bird' or a 'late owl'!
Be an 'early bird' or a 'late owl' while working or exercising outdoors on days when ozone levels are elevated - avoid exposure especially in the afternoon, as ozone levels tend to peak around that time of a day.
Walk rather than run!
The more intensively we breathe, the more our lungs will be exposed to ozone and other air pollutants. Therefore, you may want to avoid being too active outdoors (e.g. walk instead of run) when ozone levels are elevated.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
PDF generated on 01 May 2016, 12:34 PM