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South Dakota’s Grades For Air Quality Are In

(April 19, 2017) -

Media contact: Robert Moffitt (651) 269-7561

SIOUX FALLS, SD — The American Lung Association annual “State of the Air Report” was released today, and South Dakota’s grades were generally good.  The six counties that provided enough data to get a score on ozone pollution -- Brookings, Custer, Jackson, Meade, Minnehaha and Union – all earned an “A” grade. The state’s scores for particle pollution were generally good: an “A” for Brown County; “B” grades for Brookings, Codington, Custer, Jackson and Pennington; tow “C” grades for Minnehaha and Union counties.  The last two grades were most likely the result of wildfire smoke, both counties issued three Orange Alerts for air quality during the monitoring period.

The State of the Air Report uses data collected at nine state-owned air quality monitors and certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This year’s report analyzed data from the three-year period of 2013 to 2015. Grades are determined by the number of air quality alerts for ozone or particle pollution that occurred during those three years.

“Drifting smoke from wildfires is often a short term problem, but it can be a serious health concern for some people,” said Robert Moffitt, a spokesperson for the American Lung Association in South Dakota. “Climate scientists warn that the number and severity of wildfires can increase, something we have already seen this year in the central plains.  It’s yet another warning that if we don’t start reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants soon, it can have consequences that cross state and international borders. ”

Ozone and particle pollution can trigger asthma attacks, put people at higher risk of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and are a particular health concern for people with preexisting lung disease, the very young and the elderly.



About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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