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Ozone spikes lead to doctor visits, study finds

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A study by the Wyoming Department of Health found that ozone in Sublette County causes and exacerbates health problems.

Ground-level ozone is a type of pollution, and in Sublette County, it’s caused by emissions from the oil and gas industry. The report found that as ozone levels increased, more people went to local health clinics with respiratory complaints.

Kerry Pride with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says other studies have shown the same thing, but this is the first time they’ve done a research specific to Sublette County.

“Ozone is ozone,” Pride said. “It doesn’t matter whether it occurs in a big city or a small place; it can cause some respiratory health effects. And so I think that’s really the take-home.”

Pride says ozone is especially problematic for people who already have health issues such as asthma. She says even low levels of ozone – well below the federal limits – often exacerbate those respiratory problems.

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