Recorded October 30, 2019 12:30 pm

Toxic Air: The Challenge of Ozone Pollution


Surface ozone is a dangerous climate and air pollutant, damaging human health, ecosystems, crops and other plants, and contributing significantly to global warming. Ozone is created when gases released by cars, electric utilities, landfills, biomass fires, agriculture and industrial processes, among other sources, react with each other and sunlight. In 2017 alone, it contributed to 500,000 deaths globally, and as many as 23 million emergency room visits in 2015. It also substantially damages crop yields, with annual losses reaching up to 227 metric tons.

Controlling ozone is a significant governance challenge requiring a comprehensive, inclusive pollution management approach that involves strong enforcement of clean air laws, robust air pollution monitoring, and an emission inventory that can accurately identify sources of pollution. Controlling pollution requires implementation of a wide range of sector-specific control strategies.

This seminar will focus on comprehensive airshed strategies currently being used to control ozone around the world, as well as the social implications of air pollution management. It will highlight the importance of coordinated, multipollutant management across airshed regions and the critical role that governments, civil society, and citizen actors play.

This seminar is the first in a series exploring air pollutant challenges and the implications of a multi-pollutant approach to air pollution reduction.


Beatriz CárdenasDirector Air Quality Program, WRI Mexico
Susan AnenbergAssociate Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
Terry KeatingSenior Scientist, Office of Research and Development, Environmental Protection Agency
Moderated by: Jessica SeddonDirector Of Integrated Urban Strategy, WRI Ross Center For Sustainable Cities