Ozone: A form of oxygen that consists of three atoms of oxygen, in contrast to normal atmospheric oxygen which consists of two atoms of oxygen. Ozone is an important greenhouse gas found in both the stratosphere and the troposphere. Ozone has effects beyond acting as a greenhouse gas. In the stratosphere, ozone provides a protective layer shielding the Earth from ultraviolet radiation and subsequent harmful health effect on humans and the environment. In the troposphere, oxygen molecules in ozone combine with other chemicals and gases (oxidization) to cause smog.
There is ozone production in atherosclerotic plaques. This ozone may contribute to plaque formation by oxidizing cholesterol.
The chemical symbol for ozone is 03.
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Last Editorial Review: 9/14/2016