Ozone Pollution is formation of ozone molecules at ground level mainly due to reaction between oxides of Nitrogen and volatile organic carbon in presence of sunlight. In other words, Ground level or “bad” ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.
Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC.
- Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly, and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma.
- Ground level ozone can also have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation especially during the growing season and ecosystems including forests, parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas
- It is the main ingredient in smog.
- According to data by 2050’s ozone levels will increase by up to 4.4% in many places in north India particularly Uttar Pradesh.
- Due to this there will be a decrease over forest patches of the Western Ghat in the south of 3.4%.
- Climate change will adversely impact soil, moisture, rains, vegetation density etc which will further impact the absorption of ozone.
- Man made sources like vehicles, power plants or machines which uses fossil fuels where the O3 component will increase by up to 45% in parts of North India.
- Ground-level ozone is a greenhouse gas that is detrimental to crop productivity. Elevated ground-level ozone exposures affect agricultural crops and trees, especially slow growing crops and long-lived trees.
- Ozone damages the leaves and needles of sensitive plants, causing visible alterations such as defoliation and change of leaf colour.
- A policy is necessary to successfully reduce the effect of this pollutant.
- Surface ozone not only damages health but also destroys crops. In a country where food insecurity is high, this should be reason enough to act.
The need of hour is Keeping in mind the ill effects of ozone pollution Government should devise ways to curb Pollution and Should work with Stakeholders to form a better Society and contribute to SDG 2030.