Learn How to Check Air Quality this Fourth of July


Fireworks (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa – According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 2017 the metro saw the air quality spike due to smoke from fireworks.

The Iowa DNR measures fine particle pollution when tracking air quality.

Air Quality and Compliance Supervisor for the department Brian Hutchins said the fine particle pollution is on a standard 35 microgram-per cubic meter for every 24 hours.

In 2017 Des Moines hit 50 microgram-per cubic meter, exceeding the standard.

“What really led to seeing those elevated levels was the weather conditions that we had at the time. We had a stagnant air mass, so it was not a lot of mixing taking place and allowed that smoke to linger for a longer period of time,” Hutchins said.

People can still buy fireworks, but some cities have banned the use of them. Cities that do not allow the lighting of fireworks include: Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, Johnston, Altoona and West Des Moines.

People are able to set fireworks off in Ankeny, only on July 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Waukee also allows fireworks on both July 3rd and 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

“The elderly, children, those who have health conditions like asthma. We do recommend that they stay up wind of a fireworks display. Other precautions they can take if they are experiencing a lot of dense smoke in the area is to limit their outdoor activity,” Hutchins said.

To check the air quality in Polk County, click here.

To check the air quality in Linn County, click here.


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