Allowed ozone levels hurt healthy lungs

The amount of penetration of UV relative to al...Image via Wikipedia

Not good news. If you feel like you get winded sooner than you ought to, you won’t be surprised to hear that more than one study has determined that what the EPA has called acceptable levels of ozone are clearly detrimental to normal healthy breathing. Several hours of living in those levels will affect how forcibly a person can exhale (exhaling is the process in people with emphysema that continues to deteriorate over time–I know because my mom lived with it for 10 years) and can damage overall lung function.

Hard to say whether this is worse news for perfectly healthy people–who will be pissed off at being damaged through no bad habits of their own–or for those of us who’ve suffered lung damage from other sources such as heart disease or asthma. Even the EPA isn’t arguing about the truth of some of the predicted damage, though they’re hedging on other aspects.

Are we destined to become a nation of less-than-vigorous citizens? Most of our scientists know we need to change our ways to save our air. Let us pray we can all work together to find new ways to cherish our precious natural resources.

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