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Ozone in the lower atmosphere is an air pollutant with harmful effects on the respiratory systems of animals and will burn sensitive plants; however, the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is beneficial, preventing potentially damaging electromagnetic radiation from reaching the Earth's surface. Ozone is present in low concentrations throughout the Earth's atmosphere.
Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent, far stronger than O2. It is also unstable at high concentrations, decaying to ordinary diatomic oxygen (with a half-life of about half an hour in atmospheric conditions): 2 O3 → 3 O2 This reaction proceeds more rapidly with increasing temperature and increased pressure. Deflagration of ozone can be triggered by a spark, and can occur in ozone concentrations of 10 wt% or higher.
Ground-level ozone is created near the Earth's surface by the action of daylight UV rays on a group of pollutants called ozone precursors.
Ozone cannot be stored and transported like other industrial gases (because it quickly decays into diatomic oxygen) and must therefore be produced on site