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Poor air quality, high temperatures mean ‘Red Day’ across St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – The air quality in St. Louis was very poor on Friday and The American Lung Association Missouri designated it as a ‘Red Day’ due to the very hot temperatures and dirty air.

The St. Louis skyline was covered in smog. Experts say the dirty air contains ozone which is created by hot weather and emissions from cars and factories.

“It’s a lung irritant. It’s really bad to breathe,” said Susannah Fuchs, who works on clean air for the American Lung Association Missouri.

Fuchs said that it’s a good day to stay inside, adding, “Children, the elderly, and those with lung disease can be gravely impacted by air pollution.”

The Science Center posted a sign warning people that the air is not good to breathe. MoDOT told motorists not to fill up with gasoline until later in the day.

The Asthma Clinic at St. Louis Children’s Hospital said they see a 25% jump in calls from parents of asthma patients on a day like this.

“The family typically calls our office to report the symptoms if the child is having severe issues such as respiratory distress obviously getting them to the emergency is crucial,” said Lila Kertz, a nurse practitioner at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

DeMarco Cotton has suffered from asthma since he was very young. He said he can feel when it’s a red day without seeing any warning or forecast.

“I stay at home most of the time whenever it’s a red day. I stay in the house,” Cotton said.