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Health Department modifies vog rating scale

The state Department of Health is slightly revising its sulfur dioxide air quality ratings system to take into account a new standard adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The green, or “good,” and yellow, or “moderate,” sulfur dioxide ratings in the state’s color-coded air quality condition guide are due to be altered slightly. But environmental health specialist Lisa Young says most members of the public won’t notice.

The state adopted the ratings system after Kilauea began spewing sulfur dioxide from Halemaumau Crater at the volcano summit.

The EPA issued a standard last year that lowered the acceptable level of sulfur dioxide in the air to 75 parts per billion measured hourly. The previous standard allowed 140 parts per billion averaged over 24 hours.

The new advisory levels can be found online at www.hiso2index.info.

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