Ground Ozone Research Paper

Abstract

This paper summarizes the themes and recommendations that emerge from the papers presented by the Working Group on Tropospheric Ozone. In terms of current knowledge, the following are considered of particular importance: a) lack of clear evidence for a human analogue of the terminal bronchiolar and proximal acinar changes observed in the lungs of ozone-exposed animals; b) lack of evidence for a connection between the acute respiratory effects of O3 and possible chronic respiratory effects; c) need to better define the characteristics of O3-susceptible individuals; d) the lack of adequate exposure assessment tools for reconstruction of lifetime O3 exposure; and e) incomplete information on the role of other ambient environmental pollutants in the facilitation of O3 effects or as a cause of effects attributed to O3 in human populations. Based on the above, several recommendations for epidemiologic research on health effects of O3 are offered. a) Studies to investigate the existence of chronic health effects of O3 are essential, particularly those that include autopsied human lung tissue and biologic and physiologic response markers. b) Studies are needed to link acute responses with chronic effects and should include joint epidemiologic and controlled-exposure assessments. c) Studies are needed to identify susceptible subgroups. Such studies should include newly emerging biologic markers of O3 exposure. d) Accurate and precise tools for chronic O3 exposure assessment need to be developed for use in retrospective and prospective studies. e) Collaborative studies between epidemiologists and laboratory investigators are needed to develop and evaluate markers of O3 exposure and to test O3 exposure models.

Full text

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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Potentially harmful levels of the air pollutant ozone are present in many regions around the world, a widespread study has shown.

Levels of ozone in the troposphere – the lower region of the atmosphere – have decreased in much of Europe and the US over the past 15 years. However, they are increasing in parts of East Asia in line with economic development.

Relatively high levels are found in both in urban and rural areas of the globe, with identifiable hot-spots in regions with major emissions, according to the results.

Worldwide monitoring

The study uses data from more than 4,800 monitoring stations across the globe, and is the biggest assessment to date on ground-level ozone, which can be harmful to breathe.

The highest daily ozone levels were measured in five different ways, and statistical analysis was used to calculate peak levels and to interpret trends and changes in the data at urban and rural locations.

Ozone research

The study is a component of the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR), an international effort to improve scientific understanding of ozone’s global distribution and trends.

The international team of researchers behind the study, who volunteered their time and expertise to take part, have released their data, including statistics and graphics available, for wider use.

The ability to quantify the changes in high and peak ozone levels over the past 15 years and more for urban regions worldwide is an exciting development. We hope this will be useful to air quality managers, to inform and evaluate strategies to protect human health from the adverse effects of ozone.

Professor Ruth DohertySchool of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh

Despite some improvements in air pollution emissions in Europe and North America, human health impacts from ozone are still a cause for concern across the world and are rising in parts of East Asia.

Dr Zoë FlemingNational Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), University of Leicester

The research, led by the Universities of Leicester and Edinburgh in collaboration with 12 other institutions worldwide, was published in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

The TOAR project is funded by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry project (IGAC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Forschungszentrum Jülich with the support of a large international team.

Related links

Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report

To read the paper in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, click here

Research@GeoSciences

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