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Air quality season begins in St. Louis

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources photo)

It's getting warmer in St. Louis and that means the issue of the region's air quality returns to the forefront.

Historically, the area has had pretty poor ozone levels. (Ozone is the main ingredient of urban smog that can be a significant health hazard, particularly for children with asthma.) Susannah Fuchs with the American Lung Association says the region’s air quality has gotten better but it still needs work.

"There have concurrently been studies showing that air pollution has a much worse effect on our health than was originally thought. So while we're doing better and better, [and] our air is getting cleaner, the standards are also getting stricter at the same time," Fuchs said. 

Fuchs says the daily ozone forecast -- the green through red color-coded levels -- will be published starting this week via the web, social media, broadcast outlets and highway message boards.