The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says poor quality air was detected in the state Thursday. The DNR’s Sean Fitzsimmons says the state has monitors that record the amount of small particles of pollution found suspended in the air.
Fitzsimmons says there’s a stagnation of air over Iowa and the midwest that’s giving the particles less room to get up into the sky and mix. He says they measured a air level over the E-P-A standard in northwest Iowa, and the rest of the state was close to that standard of 35, with readings of 20 to 30. Fitzsimmons says the bad air moved with the front across Iowa. He says the particles were increasing in the east and going down in the west, but were close to the standard of 35.
Fitzsimmons says the bad air should move out soon. Fitzsimmons says the E-P-A is predicting that a low pressure system will move from the eastern Great Lakes and through the midwest and that will clear up the sky Saturday and the levels should come back down to normal. Fitzsimmons says the "smog" is easy to see.
He says if you go out today you can see the haze in the air, and says on any given day that haze will be fog or particles, and right now it’s trapped particles.
Fitzsimmons says the dirty air can cause a problem for people with specific medical problems. Fitzsimmons says the levels can in certain cases induce heart attacks or illnesses in people with heart problems, and can increase the frequency of attacks for people who have asthma.
Fitzsimmons says the DNR recommends that individuals with respiratory problems or heart disease, as well as the elderly and children, limit prolonged exertion until air quality conditions improve on Saturday. You can see the EPA’s national air quality map is available on-line at www.airnow.gov .