Air Quality - Ozone

Attainment, Non-Attainment, and Near Non-Attainment for Ozone standards


Physical environment

Rationale for use of indicator

This is one of several indicators that provide a view of environmental concerns in a specific county. Ozone is an indirect pollutant. A natural form of oxygen, it becomes a component of smog when combined with other substances in the air. Ozone pollution is produced when volatile organic compounds in the air, such as gasoline vapors, oil refinery leaks, car emissions, dry cleaning fumes, and paint fumes, react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight. Non-attainment and near non-attainment counties are those designated as such under the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission's State Implementation Plan. Attainment counties are all others.

Health Effects

Ozone in the air reacts with lung tissue and can cause breathing problems. The risk of asthma may be increased and people may cough and have chest pains. "Responders" (persons especially sensitive to ozone), people with pre-existing respiratory diseases (asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, pneumonia, and colds), and people who exercise outdoors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone.

Data Source

Texas Environmental Almanac, Texas Center for Policy Studies, Austin TX, 1995


Children at Risk. The indicators. [Online: ] July 1999.

USDHHS.Healthy people 2000: national health promotion and disease prevention objectives: full report, with commentary. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 1991. Report No.: DHHS publication no. (PHS) 91-50212.