2010 March 18: IA Quad Cities: Stagnant air leads to air-quality concerns, sulphur stench

2010 March 18: IA Quad Cities: Stagnant air leads to air-quality concerns, sulphur stench

Brian Wellner | Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:31 am | No Comments Posted

Pollution levels around the Quad-Cities are having trouble escaping as long as stagnant weather, especially fog, hangs around this morning.
That may cause some to smell sulphur-like chemical odors that wouldn’t otherwise exist in normal weather, said Sean Fitzsimmons, air-quality specialist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
An air monitor in Davenport this morning detected particulate matter levels near Environmental Protection Agency standards. The threshold is 35 micrograms per cubic meter. The monitor at Vine and 10th streets detected a level at 32 at 8:30 a.m. It has since fallen slightly.
A monitor at Blackhawk Foundry showed the level spiking at 46 at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and falling into the 20s this morning.
Fitzsimmons said a spike in particulate matter can happen during a calm period before a storm, when there is little wind to flush away pollution. A winter storm is expected this weekend.
“We’re getting close to the health standard,” Fitzsimmons said. “It looks like poor atmospheric mixing in the Quad-Cities. The levels don’t show health concerns yet. It’ll go down with the passage of the winter storm.”
The level of particulate matter has to remain at 35 or higher for a 24-hour period before the pollution becomes a health concern, Fitzsimmons said.

Posted in Local on Thursday, March 18, 2010 10:31 am Updated: 10:34 am. | Tags: Air Quality, Iowa Department Of Natural Resoruces, Environmental Protection Agency, Sean Fitzsimmons, Blackhawk Foundry

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