Tag Archives: air monitor
Did you know air pollution is a trigger for asthma? Did you know children are especially sensitive to the harmful effects of air pollution? When the air quality is unhealthy what changes are you going to make in children’s outdoor play?
The School Flag Program is an effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help schools improve the health and wellness of students and staff.
Air pollution can affect the health of children, especially those with asthma. The School Flag Program is designed to help the school community stay aware of outdoor air quality conditions so teachers, coaches and students can take protective measures to reduce students’ exposure to air pollution. Modifying outdoor activities is recommended when air quality has reached unhealthy levels.
There are four easy steps to get the School Flag Program started at your school to ensure healthy learning environments.
First, purchase five flags, pennant style, solid colors, Schools participating in the School Flag Program raise a flag each day. The flag colors are based on the colors of the Air Quality Index. Each flag color corresponds to a different level of health concern:
- Green = good
- Yellow = moderate
- Orange = unhealthy for sensitive groups
- Red = unhealthy
- Purple = very unhealthy
Second, educate and inform parents, teachers and students.
Fourth, follow the recommendations for schools and others on poor air quality days.
For more information about air pollutants, ozone and the air quality data system, visit the Air Pollution Control Program.
We often talk about how the air is cleaner today than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. But can we prove it?
We’ve come a long way.
Look at sulfur dioxide emissions: in 1970 more than a million tons of sulfur dioxide was being emitted into the air. That number has dropped 60 percent.
Even with these improvements, we know there’s still work to do.
Improving the air takes a team. Work we’ve done here, and are doing, at the Department of Natural Resources has helped, but so has the work done by Missouri businesses and Missouri citizens.
If you’d like to know some things you can do to help improve air quality, there’s a fact sheet What You Can Do to Improve the Air that has some great tips.
Here’s a news flash: It’s going to be another hot one this week. Temperatures across much of Missouri are staying in the middle and upper 90s, occasionally crawling to the triple-digit mark.
There’ s not much that can be done to control this heat wave, but there are some things that can be done to control an environmental and health concern that often accompanies the hot days of summer: ground-level ozone.
Ground-level ozone – commonly known as smog – is a gas created when pollution from vehicles, businesses and power plants combine in the presence of sunlight. Typically, ozone pollution is more of a problem during hot summer months because sunlight and warm temperatures speed up the formation of ground-level ozone.
Exposure to ground-level ozone contributes to health and environmental problems. Healthy adults can experience problems breathing, especially those who exercise or work outdoors. Children are at increased risk from exposure to ground-level ozone because their lungs are still developing. Ground-level ozone can also damage trees and agricultural crops.
Simple everyday steps can help reduce the emission of harmful ozone-causing pollutants:
- Keep vehicle tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires increase gasoline consumption.
- Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk.
- Stop at the first click when filling up gas tanks. Overfilling can lead to gasoline spills, which allows harmful ozone-causing vapors to escape into the atmosphere.
- Don’t use gas-powered lawn equipment on hot, sunny days with little or no wind. Consider waiting until early evening to mow your lawn.
- Conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances when leaving a room to reduce emissions from power plants.
Ozone monitoring data for ozone season, which began April 1 and runs through Oct. 31, is available from the Missouri Air Quality Data System Web page. For more information on ozone, visit the department’s Ozone Web page and read the article on Ozone in the latest Missouri Resources’ magazine.
At 5:15 a.m., June 20, 2011, the Environmental Emergency Response Spill Line was contacted regarding a chemical wholesale facility fire at the Chemisphere Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri. Chemisphere Corporation is considered a Tier II facility with approximately 60 different chemicals on site. A department emergency responder headed to the scene.
The department responder reported the fire was extinguished at about 9:30 a.m. Materials on-site that were involved in the fire according to Chemisphere’s representative include: Totes containing MEK, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetone, Methyl Acetate, Soy Methyl Esters, Ethanol, hand sanitizers, one tank car of mineral oil, drums of Isopropyl Alcohol, and the intermodal container with pallets of Benzoic Acid which had minor damage.
Air monitoring was performed using a MultiRae 4 – gas meter in the combined sewer manholes on the property and down gradient several blocks from company’s main gate. The highest Volatile Organ Compound reading was 5.6 ppm and 0% Lower Explosive Limit in all the manholes checked.
A vacuum truck was brought in to remove any free standing pools of product, fire suppression water, or product and suppression water combined. No major waterways were impacted that could be seen through visual observation.
The department is still providing oversight of the clean-up at the facility and coordinating with all parties involved to ensure issues are resolved.
To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, please contact the department’s spill line at 573-634-2436.
For more information, please visit our web site Environmental Services Program