CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Linn County Public Health is observing elevated ambient levels of fine particulate matter above the daily air quality health standard of 35 ug/m3. A peak concentration of 46 ug/m3 was observed at 5:00 am today.
Levels continue to remain above the health standard of 35 ug/m3 and will likely remain elevated throughout the day. 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. Children active outdoors can also be sensitive to particle pollution.
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 more at risk of hospital and emergency room visits or, 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.
You can 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).
Tips for reducing particle pollution on days when level are expected to be high:
• Reduce the number of trips you take in your car.
• Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
• Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
• Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.
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 892-6000.
For more detailed information about air quality where you live:
For more information, contact: James Hodina, Air Pollution Control Officer, Linn County Public Health. Phone: 319.892.6010 Email: [email protected]