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         Environment Glossary



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Term
Ozone (O3)
Description pungent, colourless, toxic gas that contains three atoms of oxygen in each molecule. It occurs naturally at a concentration of about 0.01 parts per million (p.p.m.) of air. Levels of 0.1 p.p.m. are considered to be toxic. In the stratosphere, ozone provides a protective layer shielding the earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation on human beings and other biota. In the troposphere, it is a major component of photochemical smog, which seriously affects the human respiratory system.