Air quality watch in Cedar Rapids over the weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Air quality watch in Cedar Rapids over the weekend

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    Local news and information for Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, Mt. Vernon, Central City, Robins, Alburnett, Fairfax, Palo, Ely, Lisbon, Springville and the surrounding Linn County area.

    More >>
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - On Friday, Dec. 5, Linn County Public Health (LCPH) sent a press release stating that they are observing elevated ambient levels of fine particulate matter that are above the daily air quality health standard of 35 mg/m3.

LCPH continuously monitors local air quality and over the Friday afternoon they have seen a rise in particulate matter levels.

Based on forecasted meteorological conditions, LCPH anticipates that particulate levels may remain elevated over the next 24-48 hours.

At these levels, the general population may find air quality to be acceptable.

However, people sensitive to air pollution should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.

This may include people with lung or heart disease and children active outdoors can also be sensitive to particle pollution.


Nitrate is a primary component of winter time haze in Iowa. Nitrate formation is enhanced during prolong periods of high humidity and near freezing temperatures like we are currently experiencing.


Fine and coarse particles can cause a variety of serious health problems.

When exposed to these particles, people with heart or lung diseases and older adults are at increased risk for hospital and emergency room visits and in some cases, even death.

These effects have been associated with short-term exposures lasting 24 hours or less.

Particles can also aggravate heart disease such as congestive heart failure and lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.


During this period, you may reduce your exposure to particles by

1) planning strenuous activity when particle levels are forecast to be lower,

2) reducing the amount of time spent at vigorous activity, or

3) choosing a less strenuous activity (e.g., going for a walk instead of a jog).


Some tips for reducing particle pollution on days when level are expected to be high are to reduce the number of trips you take in your car, and reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use. 


Real-time and historic ambient air quality monitoring data is posted on the Linn County Public Health Air Quality Website at www.linncleanair.org.

For further questions, please contact the air quality branch at 319-892-6000.

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