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Photochemical Oxidation (Smog)


Reaction among emitted nitrogen oxides and VOCs with UV light and heat from the sun that produces low level smog. Smog is ugly and bad for visibility, but it also causes eye and respiratory irritation and vegetation damage. Have you ever experienced an air advisory day? This is the reason.


Unit of measure for smog potential: kg of ozone equivalent (O3 e)



1. Emissions from industry and vehicles enter atmosphere.


2. UV light from the sun reacts with emissions, creating ground-level ozone and airborne particles (smog).


3. Exposure to smog can lead to respiratory illnesses, birth defects, decreased immune capacity and difficulty breathing.


4. Land topography traps cool air and pollutants, worsening the effects.


What Can I Do On My Project?


Request Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) from product vendors and manufacturers, to identify the associated impacts.


Select products with a lower smog potential.
A product with less kg of O
3 e will have a lower smog potential.


Select products with no VOCs.
VOCs react with sunlight and heat to create smog.


Set tight goals for electricity use.
Nitrogen oxide is released when coal and oil are burned, so each kilowatt hour saved is a reduction in emissions which are hazardous to environmental health.

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