Nashville fails to meet ozone rules

By Christina E. Sanchez and Clay Carey • THE TENNESSEAN • April 29, 2009

Andy Hageman can rattle off a list of irritants — pollen, grass, pet dander — that can set off an asthma attack on any given day.

When the sun is hot and bright, those attacks can be exacerbated, particularly when health officials issue air-quality alerts over high levels of lung-irritating ozone pollution.

“It’s worse from about springtime to the first frost in about October or November,” said Hageman, 63, a Nashville resident. “If I go outside for any period of time, I am wheezing. It’s all the stuff outside in the air.”

When it comes to ozone, a hot-weather pollutant created when sunlight reacts with vehicle and industrial emissions, Nashville and three of its neighboring counties don’t meet new, tougher federal standards set last year, the state has told the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA won’t sign off on the state’s initial report until 2010, and no deadline has been set for Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties to meet the new air-quality criteria.

That is why my sinuses are bleeding.

NP NowPublic

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