When people think of the Boulder, they don't often think of air pollution. But, the elevation and topography (mountains to the west and northwest and the Louisville Rise to the east and southeast), and the automobile traffic in this small town, mean that the nose-level pollution in central Boulder is usually higher than the western coastal neighborhoods of Los Angeles. (My doctors had recommended in the 1990s that I move away from Boulder for my health and suggested coastal LA as a good alternative.)
We can't control sunshine, so the only way to keep the ozone from reaching dangerously high levels is to refrain from driving. That means you AND me.
But, sensitive people are cautioned from strenuous outdoor exercise during high ozone days.
What does an asthmatic do when an Ozone Action Day is called? Ride my bike and possibly have an asthma attack? Drive solo and pollute the air even more?
combination of pollen and ozone is particularly irritating. People with pollen allergies can be affected by lower levels of pollen when ozone is present. The only time I ever ended up in a clinic gasping for breath was when I went for an after work run (in grad school in the 1990s) up Boulder canyon during a day with both high ragweed pollen and high ozone. I now get allergy shots and that has helped somewhat. But, I still avoid outdoor exercise when pollens are especially high.
The best part of leaving the driving to someone else is that my hands are free to take pictures like this.
- The combination of pollen and ozone is particularly irritating.
- AirNow for Denver
- Sigalert real-time traffic for Boulder
- Colorado Air Quality
- Plant leaves are a good indicator of time-integrated ozone dosing.