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Ozone seasons starts in St. Louis

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The summer air pollution season in the St. Louis region began this weekend.

Ground level ozone has been a persistent problem in the area in past years. In 2004, the region was declared to be a "non-attainment area" for the eight hour standard for ozone pollution levels.

Jill Miller, with the Sierra Club in Missouri, says the problem still hasn't been adequately addressed by area leaders. "The region needs to come up with a plan to reduce emissions from various sources so that we can clean up the air and not putting the burden of pollution on to the public."

The American Lung Association, mobile sources - including cars - account for 30%of the emissions that form ground level ozone in the St. Louis region.

Miller says the ground ozone results in health problems: "The St. Louis area has asthma rates that are much higher than the national average, according to the asthma and allergy foundation of America. And so we do really need to be cleaning up our air and looking at different ways to do that."

The American Lung Association is recommending that motorists cut down on the number of trips they take during the heat of the day, or use alternative commuting methods.

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