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Elevated pollution measured in several Iowa communities

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Elevated pollution levels were measured in several Iowa communities and an Air Quality Advisory was issued for Muscatine County.

The advisory was issued because fine particles, emitted by vehicles and other combustion sources, were measured at elevated levels.

“Fine particle levels above EPA health standards are likely to persist in Muscatine County until early Tuesday morning, when northwest winds and precipitation are expected to clear the air,” said a statement issued by the DNR.

“The Department of Natural Resources recommends that Iowans living in Muscatine County with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children limit prolonged outdoor exertion until air quality conditions improve,” the statement said.

The EPA’s 24-hour health threshold for fine particles is 35 micrograms (35 millionths of a gram) per cubic meter.  At 11 a.m. Monday, April 2 officials measured double that level in Muscatine.

Elevated fine particle levels were measurements were taken in several other communities across Iowa.  Fine particle levels were 33 in Emmetsburg, 29 in Des Moines, 20 in Waterloo, 27 in Cedar Rapids, 27 in Iowa City, 33 in Davenport, 24 in Clinton, and 29 in Lake Sugema State Park.

Stagnant air doesn’t allow fine particles to disperse in the air.  The advisory is expected to be lifted Tuesday morning, April 3, when increased winds will help clear the air.

EPA’s national air quality map is available online at