Clean air is a basic human right, and yet millions of people around the world are forced to breathe unhealthy air. In many cases, it’s simply because countries have weak or nonexistent air quality standards. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at various international air quality standards regarding use of ozone. Read on to find out!

The air quality standards are the same, no matter where in the world you go. Just as air quality varies depending on where you are, so do the air quality standards. We’ll discuss the various standards in effect throughout the world, how they compare, and who has the toughest (and weakest) requirements in this blog article.

What is an Air Quality Standard?

An ambient air quality standard is a restriction on the amount of a particular contaminant in the air. These standards are generally written into national (or federal) legislation and are legally enforceable. The criteria were created to protect individuals’ health and have been set at a level that allows for a safety cushion for those who are most vulnerable, such as the young and elderly, as well as persons with pre-existing medical issues.

The majority of worldwide air quality standards (AAQS) deal with a handful of key pollutants known as “criteria pollutants”: ozone, particle matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and lead. Despite the fact that countries frequently have similar air pollution limits, the restrictions themselves are somewhat different.

Limits, Targets and Averages

An air quality standard may state a limit i.e. the level of pollutant x must not exceed amount y. Alternatively a standard may stipulate a target i.e. by year z the level of pollutant x must not exceed amount y. In some cases the air quality standards will have a mix of both.

The EPA also changes regulations, which are subject to periodic review and may be reduced. This chart demonstrates how the US EPA’s ozone limitations has changed over time, and a more significant reduction is now under consideration.

Another thing you’ll notice is that international norms include a combination of averages and measurements. For example, in the United States, standards are typically expressed in part per million (ppm), but in the EU, values are reported as µg/m3. The upper and lower limits are sometimes defined as a mean over 1 hour, 8 hours, or even 24 hours. This variation makes inter-comparison more difficult.

How do International Standards Compare?


The EPA has established air quality standards (termed National Ambient Air Quality Standards or NAAQS) that are designed minimize adverse effects on human health and the environment. These include regulations for ozone levels below 0.084 ppm by volume, which falls into two categories: one category containing primary standards related to public safety while another covers secondary considerations such as worker protection from employer liability in case of accident occurring during work hours).

The ACGIH recommendations for use of ozone in the workplace. These include 8-hour Threshold Limit Values – Time Weighted Average (TWA) values based on workload that range from 50 ppb for heavy labor to 200 ppm when exposed only 2 hours per day or less than 1% above occupational exposure limits set out by OSHA which currently stands at 40 micrograms/m 3 .

The NIOSH is a government agency that produces recommendations for safety and health standards. These guidelines tend to influence OSHA regulations in America, though they are not legally enforceable. The maximum allowed concentration of ozone should never exceed 5 parts per million (ppm). When levels reach this high it becomes dangerous because it can cause irreversible damage.

Bottom Line

It is important to be aware of the specific ozone levels in particular conditions. Hopefully this article has provided you with a better understanding of ozone air quality standards according to different regulations and their effects on public health.