St. Louis Area No Longer Among “Most-Polluted” U.S. Cities in 2017 ‘State of the Air’ Report

Article courtesy of the Clean Air Partnership

Data from the American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report has revealed that the St. Louis area is no longer ranked among the top 25 most-polluted cities in the U.S. This news reflects an overall trend in improved air quality nationwide, highlighted by lower overall ozone levels and lower year-round particle levels.

Despite this positive news, the report also notes that 40 percent of Americans are still living with unhealthy air. As the St. Louis region prepares to settle into the summer months when air quality conditions are often at their worst, the Clean Air Partnership is reminding area residents that their voluntary efforts to reduce emissions remain critical in the fight for cleaner air.

“While it’s good to see that our region wasn’t on the list of the 25 most-polluted cities in the 2017 ‘State of the Air’ report, our struggle with poor air quality conditions is far from over,” said Susannah Fuchs, Director, Clean Air for the American Lung Association in Missouri. “During the summer season, and year-round, we need area residents to continue to remain steadfast in their efforts to reduce emissions because these actions play an important role in improving air quality conditions and lung health across the region.”

On May 1, the Clean Air Partnership will resume its daily air quality forecasts and will also ramp up its efforts to educate St. Louis residents on the health effects of air pollution and the steps they can take to keep air quality in the healthy range. Since commuting has one of the most profound effects on our air quality, actions like using transit, carpooling, vanpooling, telecommuting and combining errands into a single trip can help reduce emissions when poor air quality is forecasted. Choosing to avoid vehicle idling is another key step area residents can take to help improve air quality.

“Regardless of this year’s ‘State of the Air’ ranking, air pollution is a problem that affects everyone in the St. Louis area, especially children, the elderly and the many individuals who suffer from respiratory disease,” said Fuchs. “This is why it continues to be so important for the public to do their share for cleaner air.”

For additional information on the health effects of poor air quality and tips designed to help reduce emissions, individuals are encouraged to visit www.cleanair-stlouis.com, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter. To access the American Lung Association’s 2017 State of the Air report, visit www.lung.org.