How is ozone layer a pollutant?
Ozone is a pollutant only if it is present near the earth's surface such that we inhale it. It protects us from the sun's harmful rays when in the stratosphere.
Near the earth's surface, if inhaled, it causes eye irritation. People with certain genetic characteristics, and people with reduced intake of certain nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, are at greater risk from ozone exposure.
- Make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously.
- Cause shortness of breath, and pain when taking a deep breath.
- Cause coughing and sore or scratchy throat.
- Inflame and damage the airways.
- Aggravate lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.
- Increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
- Make the lungs more susceptible to infection.
- Continue to damage the lungs even when the symptoms have disappeared.
- Cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
To learn more, you may want to check out these related questions on Socratic:
What are the positive and negative effects of the ozone layer?
What is the concern over stratospheric ozone?
How has a thinning zone layer affected human health?