The start of summer is just around the corner in the St. Louis area, and with it we’re enjoying blooming flowers and trees, extra hours of daylight and warmer weather. While most of us love this time of year and the opportunity to get outside, the season also signals the start of an increased risk of poor air quality conditions.
As temperatures rise, sunlight and heat react with emissions from motor vehicles, industrial facilities and other sources to create ozone pollution. The health effects of the poor air quality that result from ozone pollution are numerous and can include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation and decreased lung function.
With the region settling into the time of year when air quality conditions are often at their worst, it’s critical for area residents to monitor the air quality forecast. When conditions are expected to enter the unhealthy orange and red ranges, individuals are encouraged to step-up their voluntary efforts to reduce emissions by taking actions like using transit, carpooling, vanpooling, choosing not to idle, telecommuting and combining errands into a single trip.
To sign-up to receive the air quality forecast via email, visit our homepage. Throughout the summer, the forecast can also be found on our Facebook page or on Twitter @gatewaycleanair. For additional information on the health effects of poor air quality and tips designed to help reduce emissions, individuals are encouraged to explore our website.