Ozone Facts & Experiments


What is Smog?

The term "smog" was first used in London during the early 1900's to describe the combination of smoke and fog. What we typically call "smog" today is a mixture of pollutants but is primarily made up of ground-level ozone.

Ozone can be beneficial or harmful depending on its location. The ozone located high above the Earth in the stratosphere protects human health and the environment, but ground-level ozone is responsible for the choking, coughing, and stinging eyes associated with smog.

Find out more about smog


Meet the Smoginator -- Clean Air Action Hero. 

He is a champion of clean air, faster than a streak of lightning, and more powerful than the Terminator, when it comes to outsmarting his arch-rival Smogzilla. The Smoginator is a new and smarter comic book superhero. Instead of ray guns and other weaponry, Smoginator uses education and his wits as weapons against the "enemies" of clean air. His faithful companion is his clever and resourceful robot, XS-03.

The goal of this web outreach project is to teach children that there are actions which they and their families can take to help lower the amount of ground-level ozone (smog) in urban areas --- that we all can take personal responsibility in helping to improve air quality where we live. The web pages consist of fact sheets, activities and games, an online "comic book," and a Clean Air art gallery for kids. Several of the pages are designed to be interactive, and to encourage both individual and classroom participation.

The solutions and descriptions portrayed in these web pages are not the only ways in which smog can be eliminated. The suggestions on how to reduce smog may be somewhat oversimplified in order to be easily understood by children. However, when all of these individual actions are taken together, they can have a significant impact and help reduce harmful ground-level ozone.

The concept and initial image of the Smoginator are graciously loaned to us by the folks of Ohio's Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, who created the Smoginator as an educational outreach tool targeting the lower grades. The concept has since been used by several other states which have ozone nonattainment areas. The Smoginator has been used in educational booklets and for TV public service announcements; and in Ohio, there is even a "Smoginator" who visits fairs and classrooms in the lower grades.

To our knowledge, this web site is the first "home base" built for the Smoginator in cyberspace. Many additional Smoginator web materials and graphics were developed in-house by Louisiana DEQ personnel. Web graphics are by Jeremy Knight, and our cartoonist is Matthew Mahler. If you would like to comment on these web pages, share your Smoginator experiences with us, or get more information, please contact us at (225)219-3966 email deqassistance@LA.GOV.


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Making Smog