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Science, Health and Technology
Fri April 26, 2013
Columbia and Boone county score high on air quality, St. Louis and 8 counties fail
Eight Missouri counties received an “F” grade in The American Lung Association’s recent“State of the Air” report card. The latest report was released Wednesday – grades U.S. counties and cities on air quality.
Out of the 17 counties with enough data available to issue a score, only Boone County received an “A” grade. And here’s the list of the counties that failed: Clay, Clinton, Jasper, Jefferson, Perry, St. Charles, St. Louis, and St. Louis city. Researchers used air quality data between 2009 and 2011 for the grading.
The St. Louis area had multiple orange alert days over the three year period. That means air pollution levels were predicted to be unhealthy for people with asthma or respiratory diseases. Just down the road, Columbia, Missouri grabbed a spot on the list of cleanest U.S. cities when it came to ozone air pollution.
Susannah Fuchs is the regional director for the association. She says, though the U.S. and Missouri have several failing grades, standards are getting stricter and the air quality in general is getting better: “The way I try to think about it is akin to the stock market. There are dips there are peaks, but the overall trend is up,” she said. “For air pollution, the overall trend is down.”
To help improve air quality, Fuchs says individuals can use less energy and carpool more often.