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Ozone: A molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen. Occurs naturally in the stratosphere and provides a protective layer shielding the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In the troposphere, it is a chemical oxidant, a greenhouse gas, and a major component of photochemical smog.
Ozone precursors: Chemical compounds, such as carbon monoxide, methane, non methane hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides, which in the presence of solar radiation react with other chemical compounds to form ozone.