- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded a $564,000 grant to support air monitoring programs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will help the agency maintain the state’s monitoring network for fine particulate pollution.

Fine particulate pollution is composed of microscopic solids and liquid droplets suspended in air. It can contain materials such as metals, soils and dust, organic chemicals, acids and pollen, mold spores, and other allergens.

The materials can worsen heart and lung diseases, and have been linked to effects such as cardiovascular symptoms, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and bronchitis, and even premature death from heart or lung disease.

The state will use the grant for air quality data management systems, particulate data analysis and for reporting information to the Air Quality System national database.

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