2010 March 6: IA Windsor Heights: High pollution level expected until Saturday
Elevated levels are expected until late Saturday morning.
The Department of Natural Resources recommends Iowans living in the area 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 high 30s to low 40s across parts of Northeast Iowa. Monitors recorded fine particulate levels at:
- 39 in Cedar Rapids
- 36 in Iowa City
- 54 in Waterloo
Yesterday, an air monitor recorded:
- 41 in Waterloo
- 36 in Cedar Rapids
- 36 in Davenport
- 43 in Muscatine
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.
The fine particle levels in the state have been following a pattern of rising rapidly during the evening and nighttime hours, and falling back to levels below the standard in late morning or early afternoon. This cycle is expected to continue until winds pick up Saturday afternoon.