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Intense Heat, Humidity + Zero Red Air Quality Days = Cleaner Air?

Brett Blume
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  This summer has thrown everything it has at St. Louis, but at no point did the region’s air quality get pushed into the red, or unhealthy, air quality zone.

Could this mean that ever-stricter air quality standards are finally starting to kick in, making the air over St. Louis easier to breathe?

Susannah Fuchs with the St. Louis chapter of the American Lung Association has spent most of her adult life tracking ozone quality, and pushing for those stricter standards to begin cleaning up the region’s air.

“Maybe all these pollution controls that have been put in place by industry, individuals, car manufacturers…maybe they’re all making a difference,” she tells KMOX News.

Why aren’t we sure yet one way or another?

Because it takes a couple of years to compile air quality data currently being collected, but she says we do know that the last red air quality day recorded in our area came in July of 2009 — July 9th of that year to be precise.

“Maybe the meteorological conditions are right and the stage is set for a red air quality day,” says Fuchs, “but maybe our pollution levels are getting better and so we’re not getting them.”

However, she’s quick to add a disclaimer to her speculation over air quality.

“Now I don’t want that to make anybody to think, by any stretch of the imagination, that we can rest on our laurels,” she says.  “In fact the American Lung Association is pushing for the ozone pollution standards to get stricter, and we’ll keep pushing really hard for that.

“At the same time, there are pollution improvements going on.”

 

 

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