The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality advisory for the entire state with the worst air quality expected in the eastern third of Iowa. Eastern Iowa is currently recording fine particulates at concentrations the EPA considers unhealthy. At this level sensitive groups of people, as well as the general public, may experience health effects.
Fine particulate levels near or above EPA health standards are expected to increase throughout the day and persist in these areas through tomorrow. Elevated levels of fine particulates may be a concern over the next several days as the smoke continues to move through the state.
The DNR recommends people reduce long or intense outdoor activities, and take more breaks during outdoor activities until air quality conditions improve.
The national standard for fine particulate matter is 35 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) averaged over a 24-hour period, and this level is considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Groups sensitive to particulate matter include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers, and outdoor workers. Fine particulate levels could reach levels considered “unhealthy” where even healthy adults should consider limiting their activities.