the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio EPA announced that the Cincinnati area has achieved attainment the most recent federal air quality standard for ozone. Recent air monitoring data show the Cincinnati area now meets the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone in addition to all other federal air quality standards set to protect public health, effective today, June 9, 2022. The official redesignation is posted in today’s Federal Register.
Previously, the Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY-IN area was considered marginal nonattainment for the 2015 8-hour Ozone standard for the years 2018 through 2022.
Ground level ozone is not emitted directly into the air but is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react 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 VOCs. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Children are at increased risk from exposure to ozone because their lungs are still developing.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to continue their efforts to protect our region’s air. Conserving energy and reducing vehicular emissions by carpooling and not idling are easy ways that people can help air quality while saving money.