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Celebrate clean air and get outside

  • 4/29/2019 12:43:00 PM
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Run. Hike or bike. Hunt for mushrooms. Photograph wildflowers. As temperatures warm and people head outdoors, they can usually count on good air quality. Iowans especially have something to celebrate. Over the last 25 years, Iowa industries have significantly reduced six major air pollutants while growing our economy.

In fact, Iowa “…is enjoying some of the cleanest air in the country,” according to a July 2018 CNBC quality of life study.  The nationwide study tied Iowa with Montana as the top seventh state to live in based on quality of life factors such as a clean environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency summarizes long-term air quality data across the U.S. and, just published, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air report also concludes Iowa has clean air. The State of the Air report lists Iowa cities and counties among the cleanest for Ozone air pollution.

Find out more about air quality trends in Iowa and your neighborhood. Or, explore a few ways to save money while helping everyone breathe easier.

Go ahead. Celebrate air quality improvements during Air Quality Awareness Week, April 29 to May 3.

While there is much to celebrate during Air Quality Awareness Week, there are days when local air quality can pose health risks to sensitive populations. If in doubt or planning outdoor activities, consult the Air Quality Index, www.iowacleanair.gov, to learn about current and local conditions.

The color-coded map summarizes ozone and particulate matter levels. In Iowa, the map is usually green for good air quality.

If pollution is high, the Air Quality Index will show orange areas, cautioning sensitive groups like the elderly, children, and those with heart or lung diseases to limit strenuous outdoor activities.

Athletes and those who love outdoor activities or work outdoors may also be affected by ozone, because the more active they are, the faster and deeper they breathe.

For information concerning current levels of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, check the Polk CountyLinn County and State Hygienic Laboratorywebsites:

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