City of Springfield Environment News Releases

Posted on: August 25, 2014

High temperatures plus sunshine plus automobiles equals ground-level ozone



The current stretch of high temperatures brings more than just discomfort from the heat . Combined with the sunny days and emissions produced from automobiles and other gas-powered equipment, it also causes the interaction that produces higher levels of ground-level ozone – the “bad” ozone, according to the City's Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks.

"If humidity and windless conditions become a factor, the “recipe” for an “ozone stew” is complete," she says.

Ground level ozone is problematic for our community for several reasons including posing a health threat for our youngest, elderly, and, those with ongoing compromised health conditions. Athletes who are outdoors as well as workers whose jobs require them to be outside are also at risk from high levels of ground-level ozone.

What can you do to reduce the quantities of the ingredients that form ground level ozone?

  • Drive your gas-powered vehicle less – (saves gas money, too!)
  • This is a good time to carpool with co-workers or neighbors.
  • “Trip Chain” – organize your errands to minimize miles traveled.
  • Consider public transportation – take the bus!
  • Don’t top off your gas tank – this releases compounds that are a part of the ozone recipe.
  • Refuel during off- peak ozone times – fill up in the early morning or at night.
  • Operate your other gas-powered equipment during off-peak times – for example, mow your lawn in the early morning.
  • Be sure your equipment is tuned properly – this reduces emissions (saves gas, too!).
  • For more information:
    Ozarks Clean Air Alliance see “Ozone Facts” and current air quality readings
    City of Springfield’s air quality Web site
    Carpooling information

    To sign up to receive air quality advisories, visit and click on EnviroFlash e-Mails.

    For more information, contact: Barbara J. Lucks, Sustainability Officer at 417-864-2005 or

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