Bad air days may increase with climate change

When summer heat and sunlight mixes with emissions from tailpipes and smokestacks, it forms ozone. It's the same stuff that, in the stratosphere, protects us from the harmful rays of the sun, but at ground level it can trigger asthma attacks, wheezing, and hospital visits for people with conditions like emphysema and bronchitis.

A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that ground level ozone levels will only get worse with climate change, and that Ohio - with its high levels of asthma - will see more health problems and costs associated with ozone. Liz Perera is a representative with the group.

PERERA: Our modeling revealed that Ohio is actually #6 in our top ten states that will be most impacted from this increase in ozone pollution due to climate change.

Recent regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency might help, such as the new cross-state air pollution rule that requires power plants to clean up their smokestacks. But an even tougher EPA rule to restrict ground level ozone was abruptly pulled back by President Obama early this month.

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