City of Aspen Releases 2021 Air Quality Report
Jannette Whitcomb, Senior Environmental Health Specialist of Air Quality, City of Aspen, 1-970-920-5069, Jannette.Whitcomb@aspen.gov.
Jami McMannes, Communications Manager, City of Aspen, 1-970-920-5309, Jami.McMannes@aspen.gov.
Aspen, Colorado – May 6, 2022 – According to the recently released Aspen Air Quality Report, in 2021 Aspen experienced more days of moderate air quality than it did in 2020. These days of moderate air quality had daily spikes of unhealthy air due to the infiltration of smoke from wildfires in Colorado and from the West.
Aspen has good air most of the year due to air quality protection efforts taken by the City of Aspen and its partners. However, special circumstances and events, like wildfires, impact Aspen’s healthy air quality days.
“Last summer, smoke from wildfires, including megafires in the West, was transported by the jet stream across the West and settled in our valley,” stated Jannette Whitcomb, Senior Environmental Health Specialist of Air Quality with the City of Aspen. “And during those days of heavy smoke, the City of Aspen advised people to limit their outdoor activity.”
Wildfire smoke and unhealthy air quality days can have a significant effect on people’s health. It’s important for residents and visitors to monitor air quality in their area and take the proper precautions to limit exposure to poor air quality.
“The biggest health threat from smoke is the fine, microscopic particles that can penetrate deep into your lungs,” continued Whitcomb. “They can cause a range of health problems, from burning eyes and a runny nose to aggravated chronic heart and lung diseases. To protect yourself, determine your sensitivity to smoke by speaking to your doctor, signing up for Pitkin Alerts, and buying a HEPA portable air cleaner.”
The City of Aspen and Pitkin County partner to provide wildfire smoke preparedness information and updates about air quality events in Pitkin County. Sign up for Pitkin Alerts to be notified of an air quality event at PitkinEmergency.org.
In addition, the City’s air quality webpage, AspenAirQuality.com, is updated hourly with current air quality levels using the EPA’s health-based Air Quality Index and is a helpful resource during air quality events. For more information and to download the City of Aspen 2021 Air Quality Report visit AspenAirQuality.com.