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Sulfur Dioxide Air Pollution Rates a Concern in Yellowstone County


LA Testing provides air quality testing solutions to help identify airborne contaminants such as sulfur dioxide to protect people and the environment.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented new standards for measuring sulfur dioxide pollution this summer. The new standards are the first time since 1971 that the EPA has tightened the standards to protect public health. The new national standard monitors sulfur dioxide based on one-hour time periods.

The new standard is meant to protect the general public from high short term concentrations of sulfur dioxide. The new hourly standard has been set at 75 parts per billion (ppb).

According to the EPA, Yellowstone County in Montana is violating the new standard based on monitoring that shows 77 ppb from data collected from 2007 through 2009. The high concentrations were recorded in Yellowstone Valley which is home to seven significant industrial sources of sulfur dioxide ranging from power plants to oil refineries.

A major source of sulfur dioxide emissions results from the burning of fossil fuels and various industrial processes. Sulfur dioxide can also further oxidize and result in acid rain. Exposure to sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems and disease and in 2008 the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) lowered the short-term exposure limit to 0.25 parts per million (ppm) from 5 ppm.

LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading provider of air quality testing services, provides sulfur dioxide analytical services for both indoor and outdoor air samples. “The EPA report shows how testing for sulfur dioxide for short periods can bring to light exposure risks to people in an area with sources of the pollution,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “Regular monitoring can help pinpoint the sources of these spikes in concentration levels and help lead to changes to protect the public.”

To learn more about sulfur dioxide or air quality testing services and products please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.

LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Sulfur Dioxide Pollution
 Yellowstone County
 ACGIH power plants
 indoor outdoor air
 regular monitoring sample

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