Poor air quality expected through Saturday - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Poor air quality expected through Saturday

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WINDSOR HEIGHTS (KWWL) – Elevated fine particulate pollution levels were recorded in eastern and northwest Iowa Friday morning. Fine particulate levels near EPA health standards are expected to persist in northwest Iowa until Saturday morning.

The Department of Natural Resources recommends that Iowans living in northwest Iowa 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 Friday, fine particulate levels in eastern Iowa were falling. Midday average levels were 49 in Clinton, 36 in Davenport, 36 in Iowa City and 32 in Waterloo. The midday average level in Emmetsburg was 42 and fine particulate levels were rising.

Thursday, an air monitor in Waterloo recorded a 24-hour fine particle level of 39, exceeding the EPA health standard.

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.

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