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Summer is here!
That means it’s time for us to take action to keep our air clean. Summer days in Texas can be conducive for ozone formation as high-pressure systems dominate our local weather patterns, giving us clear skies and stagnant winds. People with asthma are known to be especially susceptible to the effects of ozone exposure. Children are at an even higher risk due to time spent in exercise and outdoors. (For more info on asthma and ozone check the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/o3healthtraining/effects.html)
Ozone is a gas that is formed in the atmosphere when three atoms of oxygen combine. Ozone is found high in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight. Ground-level ozone, sometimes referred to as smog, mainly forms the highest concentrations on sunny days with slow wind speeds, which allow pollutants to accumulate. Ozone season has begun in Texas, but there are many things you can do to limit ozone formation.
1. Drive Less: To reduce air emissions, you can carpool with a coworker, use public transit, or simply combine errands when possible. Removing one properly maintained passenger car from the road for one year would save an average of 17 pounds of nitrogen oxides from being discharged into the air.
2. Maintain Your Vehicle: With regularly scheduled maintenance, a properly tuned engine, and full pressured tires, you can reduce your car’s emissions and improve gas mileage at the same time.
3. Refuel Your Car in the Evening: Refuel in the late afternoon and evening to reduce the likelihood of ground-level ozone formation. When filling your vehicle’s gas tank, don’t top it off, which can allow fuel to escape as vapor.
4. Reduce Idling: If you expect to idle for more than 30 seconds, park your vehicle, turn it off, and go inside. You’ll reduce your fuel costs and help keep the air clean.
To see your own area’s air quality forecast, see the TCEQ website on air monitoring: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html. Read, download, or order publications related to air quality at TakeCareOfTexas.org: http://takecareoftexas.org/air/air-quality-resources.
Welcome to the Texas Asthma Control Program (TACP)
||The TACP is located within the Chronic Disease Branch, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). In collaboration with other state organizations and community partners, the TACP strives to improve the quality of life for Texans living with asthma. Activities include conducting asthma surveillance, supporting and promoting state and local partnerships, promoting policies that address and improve asthma outcomes, funding effective interventions that increase asthma self-management and reduce the burden of asthma in Texas, and evaluating activities to guide the use of program resources and interventions.
TACP - Mission
Reduce the severity of asthma symptoms
Decrease preventable asthma morbidity
Decrease the number of emergency department hospital visits and deaths due to asthma in Texas
Improve the quality of life for Texans living with asthma
Many individuals and organizations are committed to ensuring proper asthma care and management for our population and have worked for years to prevent and reduce poor outcomes and improve the quality of life for Texans with asthma. Our appreciation and recognition is extended to the asthma champions of Texas.
Texas Asthma Control Program
Texas Department of State Health Services
PO Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347
Email the Asthma Program