Where does ozone come from?

Ozone occurs in two places within the Earth's atmosphere. The Ozone Layer is located 6-30 miles above the Earth's surface. This protective layer of ozone reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface.

Ground-level ozone, in the air we breathe, is the result of a chemical reaction, triggered by warm temperatures and sunlight. When Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) mix in the presence of sunlight, Ozone is formed.

Illustration Depicting How Ozone Forms

Wichita and the surrounding MSA generate both NOx and VOC emissions due to our industry and way of life. Slight behavior changes can make a big difference in improving our air quality and avoiding high ozone levels.

Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Significant sources of VOCs are:

  • Paints, inks, lacquers
  • Adhesives, solvents
  • Wood coating
  • Metal part painting
  • Plastic part coating
  • Fabric coating
  • Cabinet/countertop lamination
  • Furniture coating
  • Printing presses
  • Screen printing units
  • Motor vehicle repair shops

Sources of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

NOx are the result of:

  • Automobiles
  • Trucks
  • Non-road vehicles (e.g. construction equipment, boats, etc.)
  • Power plants
  • Industrial boilers
  • Cement kilns
  • Turbines


Show All Answers

1. Why is ozone important?
2. Where does ozone come from?