Quad City air quality concerns locals with health risks

MOLINE-- Sometimes you don't see air pollution but for Kristi Mindrup, she can always feel it when she breathes.

"The best way I can describe it is if you would go up and down a flight of stars and only breathe through a very small straw like a coffee straw," says Mindrup.

On the morning of September 15th, Quad City air quality levels were poor, causing concern for people with health risks.

People like Kristi Mindrup, who was diagnosed with a lung disease last year.

I (have) Interstitial lung disease which was caused by my immune system, (it) basically rejected my lungs," says Mindrup.

Throughout the day air quality levels fluctuated from poor to moderate. The cause of the poor quality air was from the smoke of the wildfires out west and stagnant air in the atmosphere.

"What we have here is look at stagnant air mass. Have we had any wind movement? Not really in the past couple of days. So that allows the ozone to settle down on the lowest parts of the atmosphere," says Eric Sorensen, WQAD Meterologist.

But even with the moderate levels the quality of the air, Mindrup stayed indoors and worked from home.  Avoiding going outside as much as possible.

"There's a little bit of anxiety attached to it too cause you get a sense that you're safe only in your home and you worry about leaving the house and what that will feel like when you have to go out for any reason," says Mindrup.

This weekend forecasts southerly winds and that will help up clean out the air. But stagnant air patterns are expected to return on Monday and Tuesday.

"I think it's going to get a little bit worse, however the wildfires out to the west are getting a bit of a help because of the rain and the snow. We want that to go down and that means less of it gets into the atmosphere," says Sorensen.

For now those with health conditions should take extra precaution, staying indoors and turning on the air conditioner unit.

“I'm mindful of limiting the amount of time I go in and out of the house," says Mindrup.