Colorado Springs spent nearly a third of 2020 in polluted air despite no major wildfires in southern Colorado, according to study

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 4:14 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs had some of the worst air pollution in the state in 2020, despite there being no major wildfires in southern Colorado last year.

According to a new study by Environment America, Colorado Springs spent 111 days, nearly one-third of the year, with elevated ozone and/or particulate in 2020. That is measured primarily from burning fossil fuels like coal, diesel, gasoline or methane gas, as well as from wildfires.

“It gets in your airways, so it’s in your nose, it’s in your sinus, in your eyes, in your throat, your lungs, and that can cause inflammation, irritation, can cause asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections. It’s very irritating and you just have to stay away from it,” said Dr. William Storms of Aspire Allergy and Sinus in Colorado Springs.

The study found Colorado Springs ranked fifth for worst polluted air in Colorado based on number of days with elevated ozone and/or particulate. According to the study pictured below, Boulder ranked first, followed by Greeley, the Denver area, Fort Collins and then Colorado Springs.

Environment America study - Colorado
Environment America study - Colorado(Environment America)

“Try not to go outdoors when you can see it, and if possible, wear a mask, because you know, masks help this, and stay indoors. Keep your windows closed, doors closed, when you’re driving keep your windows closed, try to stay in a fairly clean environment. If you’re having symptoms, see your doctor for sure,” said Storms.

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