Latest State of the Air Report Ranks St. Louis as One of the Nation’s Most Polluted Cities

Article courtesy of the Clean Air Partnership

With May 1 marking the start of daily air quality forecasting for 2014, the St. Louis region is facing more grim news regarding its air quality. According to the American Lung Association’s latest State of the Air Report, St. Louis is now ranked 13th out of 217 metropolitan areas in the nation for ozone pollution. The report also shows that particle pollution continues to be a problem for the region, which now ranks 8th in the nation for year-round particles.

This news comes as the region prepares to settle into the summer months when air quality conditions are typically at their worst. As a result, the Clean Air Partnership is encouraging area residents to pay close attention to the daily forecast to protect their health and do their part to help reverse these troubling trends.

“Once again, the State of Air Report has confirmed what a critical concern air pollution continues to be for the St. Louis region,” said Susannah Fuchs, Senior Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of the Plains-Gulf Region and spokesperson for the Clean Air Partnership. “We want people to know that, while particle and ozone pollution are especially harmful to children, the elderly and the many individuals who suffer from respiratory disease, all of us can see negative health effects from poor air quality. That’s why it’s so important for area residents to do their share to help ensure that air quality conditions remain in the healthy range this summer and year-round.”

With transportation having a profound impact on air quality, making the choice to drive less is an easy way to reduce the emissions that lead to poor air quality. Using transit, carpooling and vanpooling, combining errands into a single trip, telecommuting and walking and biking more to get around town help take cars off area roads and the related emissions out of our air. These actions are especially critical when poor air conditions are in the forecast. In addition, green lifestyle changes can also positively impact air quality and improve lung health in the region. These include efforts to conserve energy, recycle, reduce waste and reuse items.

To stay up-to-date on air quality conditions throughout the summer, area residents are encouraged to visit the Clean Air Partnership’s website at www.cleanair-stlouis.com and sign up to receive the daily forecast in their email inboxes. Individuals can also find the forecast on the Clean Air Partnership’s Facebook page or follow the organization on Twitter @gatewaycleanair for daily updates.

To learn more about the health effects of poor air quality and steps you can take to help clear the air, log on to www.cleanair-stlouis.com. To access the American Lung Association’s 2014 State of the Air report, visit www.stateoftheair.org.