Air Quality Advisory for Iowa
Fine particulate pollution levels in excess of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) health threshold were measured this morning across Iowa. Fine particulate levels near EPA health standards are expected to persist until mid-day Saturday.
The Department of Natural Resources recommends that Iowans with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children limit prolonged outdoor exertion until air quality conditions improve.
The EPA’s 24-hour health threshold for fine particles is 35 micrograms per cubic meter. As of noon today, fine particle levels averaged in the low 40s across Iowa, with higher levels in northeast Iowa. Cedar Rapids recorded 41, Clinton 38, Davenport 44, Des Moines 43, Emmetsburg 45, Iowa City 43, Lake Sugema 42, Muscatine 43, Viking Lake 39 and Waterloo 47.
Yesterday, air monitors recorded 24-hour fine particle levels above EPA health standards at three locations in Davenport: 39 at Jefferson School, 42 at Blackhawk Foundry, and 41 at Hayes School. Levels above the 24-hour fine particle standard were also recorded two locations in Clinton: 38 at Rainbow Park and 41 at Chancy Park. In addition, 24-hour averages above the health threshold were recorded at Hoover School in Iowa City (39), Garfield School in Muscatine (37), Linn County Public Health (37), the Water Tower in Waterloo (40), and at Lake Sugema near Keosauqua (36).
Fine particles are emitted by vehicle traffic and other combustion sources, and are formed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere. Stagnant air masses do not allow the fine particles to disperse, and pollutant levels rise.
EPA’s national air quality map is available online at www.airnow.gov.
For questions, call Todd Russell at (515) 281-8437.