Air Quality.imagesCAQESM6T.jpg


An ozone molecule is composed of three oxygen atoms bonded together.
Automobile exhaust is a source of air pollution.

Before you read on, take the time to WRITE (no just thinking in your head) what you KNOW, and the questions you hope to answer as you read on. Research shows that this will make you more successful in getting the information you really want.

Why does it matter?

Individually, our cars, lawn mowers, and refueling habits are not the main causes of pollution. Cumulatively, however, these activities are both responsible for ozone-forming emissions and capable of preventing such pollution

..........................................ALL ABOUT OZONE ACTION DAY. CLICK HERE:

A few more questions to consider:

1. Why aren't ozone action days listed on the calendars that we buy at the start of each year?

Through the Ozone action program, SEMCOG is working to keep the air clean in Southeast Michigan. Ozone Action days are called when weather conditions are expected to combine with pollution to create elevated amounts of ground-level ozone, a threat to human health and the environment.
2. Who decides if it is an ozone action day?

A meteorology team from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE) forecasts Ozone Action days according to a number of factors that include temperature, wind speed/direction, cloud cover, and ultraviolet radiation.
3. What is ozone?
An ozone molecule is composed of three oxygen atoms bonded together.

4. What happens if we do a LOT of things to pollute the air on an ozone action day?
5. Who benefits if there is less pollution on an ozone action day?
6. What exactly are we asked to do on an ozone action day?

What to do on an Ozone Action day
· Avoid refueling your vehicle. If you must refuel, fill up as late in the day as possible, preferably in the evening when the weather is cooler. Fumes released at the gas pump contribute to ozone formation.
· Delay mowing your lawn. Emissions from your lawn mower help form ozone.
· If you plan to barbeque, avoid using lighter fluid. Emissions from the fluid contribute to ozone formation.
· Take the bus, carpool, bike or walk. You'll reduce traffic congestion and air pollution as well as save money. For more information, contact:

7. Who benefits from pollution control on ozone action days- and what is the benefit to them?

I hear about Ozone Action Days on the radio on some hot summer days. The DJ reminds people to avoid putting gasoline in their cars, carpool and limit driving, conserve electricity, and so on. My thought was- all of these are things that we are supposed to do all the time: so what is special about an Ozone Action Day? AND I wondered if an Ozone Action Day is really based on something in the environment, or is it something that is announced sometimes as a way to remind us not to pollute the air?

Some information about OZONE ACTION DAYS, including related news stories, follows in links, graphics and text below.

For official information from the Southeast Michigan Council Of Governments, visit the link:
Slideshows regarding air pollution on

Relevant State of Michigan Science Benchmarks, or HSSCEs (High School Science Content Expectations):

Earth Science:
E2.4 Resources and Human Impacts on Earth Systems
The Earth provides resources (including minerals) that are used to sustain human affairs. The supply of nonrenewable natural resources is limited and their extraction and use can release elements and compounds into Earth systems. They affect air and water quality, ecosystems, landscapes, and may have effects on long-term climate. Plans for land use and long-term development must include an understanding of the interactions between Earth systems and human activities.
Describe renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy for human consumption (electricity, fuels), compare their effects on the environment, and include overall costs and benefits.
Explain how the impact of human activities on the environment (e.g., deforestation, air pollution, coral reef destruction) can be understood through the analysis of interactions between the four Earth systems.
Explain ozone depletion in the stratosphere and methods to slow human activities to reduce ozone depletion.

Provide macroscopic examples, atomic and molecular explanations, and mathematical representations (graphs and equations) for the temperature-volume relationship in gases.
Draw a picture of the particles of an element or compound as a solid, liquid, and gas. (prerequisite)
C5.r1x Rates of Reactions (recommended)
The rate of a chemical reaction will depend upon (1) concentration of reacting species, (2) temperature of reaction, (3) pressure if reactants are gases, and (4) nature of the reactants. A model of matter composed of tiny particles that are in constant motion is used to explain rates of chemical reactions. (recommended)
Predict how the rate of a chemical reaction will be influenced by changes in concentration, and temperature, pressure. (recommended)
Explain how the rate of a reaction will depend on concentration, temperature, pressure, and nature of reactant. (recommended)
Describe equilibrium shifts in a chemical system caused by changing conditions (Le Chatelier’s Principle).
Predict shifts in a chemical system caused by changing conditions (Le Chatelier’s Principle).
The internal environment of living things must remain relatively constant. Many systems work together to maintain stability. Stability is challenged by changing physical, chemical, and environmental conditions as well as the presence of disease agents.
Describe how cells function in a narrow range of physical conditions, such as temperature and pH (acidity), to perform life functions.
Describe how the maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment is required for the continuation of life.
Explain how stability is challenged by changing physical, chemical, and environmental conditions as well as the presence of disease agents.
Recognize that, and describe how, human beings are part of Earth’s ecosystems. Note that human activities can deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium in ecosystems. (prerequisite)
Examine the negative impact of human activities.
B3.4x Human Impact
Humans can have tremendous impact on the environment. Sometimes their impact is beneficial, and sometimes it is detrimental.
Describe the greenhouse effect and list possible causes.
List the possible causes and consequences of global warming.
Recognize that and describe how the physical or chemical environment may influence the rate, extent, and nature of population dynamics within ecosystems.
P4.1 Energy Transfer
Moving objects and waves transfer energy from one location to another. They also transfer energy to objects during interactions (e.g., sunlight transfers energy to the ground when it warms the ground; sunlight also transfers energy from the Sun to the Earth).
Account for and represent energy into and out of systems using energy transfer diagrams.
Explain instances of energy transfer by waves and objects in everyday activities (e.g., why the ground gets warm during the day, how you hear a distant sound, why it hurts when you are hit by a baseball).
Explain why all the stored energy in gasoline does not transform to mechanical energy of a vehicle.
Explain how various materials reflect, absorb, or transmit light in different ways.
Students will understand the nature of science and demonstrate an ability to practice scientific reasoning by applying it to the design, execution, and evaluation of scientific investigations. Students will demonstrate their understanding that scientific knowledge is gathered through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation. They will be able to distinguish between types of scientific knowledge (e.g., hypotheses, laws, theories) and become aware of areas of active research in contrast to conclusions that are part of established scientific consensus. They will use their scientific knowledge to assess the costs, risks, and benefits of technological systems as they make personal choices and participate in public policy decisions. These insights will help them analyze the role science plays in society, technology, and potential career opportunities.
P1.1 Scientific Inquiry
Science is a way of understanding nature. Scientific research may begin by generating new scientific questions that can be answered through replicable scientific investigations that are logically developed and conducted systematically. Scientific conclusions and explanations result from careful analysis of empirical evidence and the use of logical reasoning. Some questions in science are addressed through indirect rather than direct observation, evaluating the consistency of new evidence with results predicted by models of natural processes. Results from investigations are communicated in reports that are scrutinized through a peer review process.
Generate new questions that can be investigated in the laboratory or field.
Evaluate the uncertainties or validity of scientific conclusions using an understanding of sources of measurement error, the challenges of controlling variables, accuracy of data analysis, logic of argument, logic of experimental design, and/or the dependence on underlying assumptions.
Conduct scientific investigations using appropriate tools and techniques (e.g., selecting an instrument that measures the desired quantity–length, volume, weight, time interval, temperature–with the appropriate level of precision).
Identify patterns in data and relate them to theoretical models.
Describe a reason for a given conclusion using evidence from an investigation.
Predict what would happen if the variables, methods, or timing of an investigation were changed.
Based on empirical evidence, explain and critique the reasoning used to draw a scientific conclusion or explanation.
Design and conduct a systematic scientific investigation that tests a hypothesis. Draw conclusions from data presented in charts or tables.
Distinguish between scientific explanations that are regarded as current scientific consensus and the emerging questions that active researchers investigate.
P1.2 Scientific Reflection and Social Implications
The integrity of the scientific process depends on scientists and citizens understanding and respecting the "Nature of Science." Openness to new ideas, skepticism, and honesty are attributes required for good scientific practice. Scientists must use logical reasoning during investigation design, analysis, conclusion, and communication. Science can produce critical insights on societal problems from a personal and local scale to a global scale. Science both aids in the development of technology and provides tools for assessing the costs, risks, and benefits of technological systems. Scientific conclusions and arguments play a role in personal choice and public policy decisions. New technology and scientific discoveries have had a major influence in shaping human history. Science and technology continue to offer diverse and significant career opportunities.
Critique whether or not specific questions can be answered through scientific investigations.
Identify and critique arguments about personal or societal issues based on scientific evidence.
Develop an understanding of a scientific concept by accessing information from multiple sources. Evaluate the scientific accuracy and significance of the information.
Evaluate scientific explanations in a peer review process or discussion format.
Evaluate the future career and occupational prospects of science fields.
Critique solutions to problems, given criteria and scientific constraints.
Identify scientific tradeoffs in design decisions and choose among alternative solutions.
Describe the distinctions between scientific theories, laws, hypotheses, and observations.
Explain the progression of ideas and explanations that lead to science theories that are part of the current scientific consensus or core knowledge.
Apply science principles or scientific data to anticipate effects of technological design decisions.
Analyze how science and society interact from a historical, political, economic, or social perspective.