Ozone is an air pollutant that can cause adverse respiratory health effects, particularly among children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions.
Last winter's elevated ozone levels in the basin prompted the state’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division to take another look at how to better warn area residents about possible elevated ozone levels. At least one ozone warning already has been issued this year.
The study should provide researchers with much-needed data about the distribution of ozone in the basin, said Robert Field, a UW air quality measurement specialist and principal investigator on the project. He said a mobile air quality monitoring lab has been moved to Pinedale to measure ozone levels with state-of-the-art equipment
Passive ozone monitors are also being placed throughout the basin to map ozone distribution, and human exposure to ozone will be recorded by the volunteers as part of the project.Volunteers in the study will wear a clip-on, passive ozone sampler, which will record how much ozone he or she comes into contact with during an eight-hour time period.
All volunteers will be required to keep a log of their whereabouts during the day while wearing the monitoring device.
The six-month project is a joint effort between the university's Environment and Natural Resources program and the UW Atmospheric Science Department.
The research is being funded by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality's Air Quality Division and the UW School of Energy Resources.
Field said in addition to the personal exposure aspect of the study, researchers will be measuring ozone with similar sampling devices at 50 strategic locations throughout the county.
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