Air Quality Beginning to Improve Across Iowa

by Brian Wilson
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Smoke from the Canadian wildfires is being swept out of the state. John Gering (GAIR-ing) of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has looked at the latest map.

This latest round of smoke had settled at the surface level. That’s why alerts indicated air quality has been unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The Iowa D-N-R’s STATEWIDE air quality alert ended at noon today. The alert has recommended that people reduce long or intense outdoor activities due to the fine particulates in the air.

The fires carry chemicals which in the presence of sunlight form ozone, an odorless gas. Over the past five years, there have been an average of three to four air quality warnings related to high ozone concentrations in Iowa at ground level. By June 12th, there had been 124 — so that does not include this weekend’s conditions.

Staff collect filters at monitors throughout the state and take them to the University of Iowa where they are manually weighed. Gering says that process takes a while, so the in-depth analysis of this weekend’s air quality won’t be completed for a couple of weeks.

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