Iowa’s air is some of the cleanest in the country according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on two of the most common forms of pollution. Brian Button is an air information specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.He says Iowa was listed as meeting standards for particulate air pollution. Particulates are microscopic pieces of soot and ash and carbon in the air that come primarily from the combustion of fuels. Button says meeting the E-P-A standards is important.He says particulate air pollution can harm people with lung diseases like asthma and emphysema and also those with heart disease. Button says Iowa also met the E-P-A standards for smog, and was one of just 16 nationwide to meet the standards for both types of pollution. He says ozone smog is a gas that forms on hot sunshiny days and is a chemical that can prematurely age and burn the lungs. Button says part of the reason for Iowa’s clean air is our location.He says we don’t have the mountains that can hold the pollution like the western states, and he says our population density isn’t as great as some of the eastern states. Button says the state has also done a good job of regulating industries to prevent dirty air.He says whenever we have new business coming into the state, or businesses expand, he says they’re vigilant in issue new air pollution control permits. Button says programs have also help get inefficient vehicles fixed so they aren’t polluting the air.
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