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Understanding and Communicating Ambient Air Quality in Iowa James Hodina, MS QEP Manager, Environmental Public Health Linn County Public Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and Communicating Ambient Air Quality in Iowa James Hodina, MS QEP Manager, Environmental Public Health Linn County Public Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding and Communicating Ambient Air Quality in Iowa James Hodina, MS QEP Manager, Environmental Public Health Linn County Public Health

2 Regulated Air Pollutants  EPA regulates two sets of air pollutants  Criteria Pollutants  Hazardous Air Pollutants

3  Under the Clean Air Act, EPA establishes primary air quality standards to protect public health  Shall be protective of human health and the environment with an adequate margin of safety”  Includes health of "sensitive" populations such as people with asthma, children, and older adults.  These standards regulate criteria pollutants and are known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Health Standards for Criteria Pollutants

4  Prior to 1990, EPA identified and regulated only a small number of HAPs such as asbestos and benzene.  Changes were made to the Clean Air Act made in 1990 and today, 188 individual chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects are listed as HAPs.  EPA has issued rules covering over 80 categories of major industrial sources to reduce annual air toxics emissions.  EPA requires the use of reformulated gasoline and placing limits on tailpipe emissions to reduce HAP emissions from mobile sources. Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)

5  NAAQS have been established for six principal air pollutants, also called the criteria pollutants:  Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2),  Ozone (O3),  Sulfur Dioxide (SO2),  Particulate Matter (PM),  Carbon Monoxide (CO), and  Lead (Pb) Criteria Pollutants

6 Comparison of Growth Areas and Emissions

7 In 2010, 124 Million People Lived in US Counties Exceeding NAAQS

8 Formation of Criteria Air Pollutants  CO, SO 2, and NO X (From the Stack or Pipe)  Directly emitted to the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources; mostly products of combustion.  Ozone, O 3 (Reaction of End of Pipe Emissions)  Formed in the atmosphere through the reaction of NO X and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.  Particulate Matter, PM (Form Both Ways)  Made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. Can be directly emitted or formed in the atmosphere from other chemicals such as SO 2 and NO X.  Fine PM is < 2.5 microns in diameter (PM 2.5 )  Coarse PM is < 10 microns in diameter (PM 10 )

9  The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. EPA groups particle pollution into two categories:  Coarse Particulate less than 10 microns in size (generally found near roadway and dusty industries.  Fine Particulate less than 2.5 microns in size (smoke or haze, or when gases from combustion sources react in air) Particulate Matter


11  PM is made up of hundreds of different chemicals.  Primary Particles are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.  Secondary Particles form in complicated reactions in the atmosphere of chemicals such as sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides  Emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.  Make up most of the fine particle pollution in the country.  Fine particles can remain suspended in the air and travel long distances across regions in the country. Source of Particulate Matter (PM)

12  Particle pollution, especially fine particles, are linked to a series of significant health problems:  increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing, for example;  decreased lung function;  aggravated asthma;  development of chronic bronchitis;  irregular heartbeat;  nonfatal heart attacks; and  premature death in people with heart or lung disease. PM Adverse Health Effects

13  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children and infants are among the most susceptible to many air pollutants.  Studies estimate that thousands of elderly people die prematurely each year from exposure to fine particles. PM Adverse Health Effects

14  Ozone is not directly emitted but rather formed in the atmosphere by the reaction of VOCs and NOx in the presence of sunlight.  Most abundant in the summer but changing weather patterns contribute to yearly differences in O 3 concentrations.  Ozone and the precursor pollutants that cause O 3 also can be transported into an area from pollution sources located hundreds of miles upwind. Ozone (O 3 )


16 Health Effects of Ozone  About 25 million people, including 7 million children, have asthma and over 12 million people report having an asthma attack in the past year.  Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.  Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.

17  NO X is the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases that contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts that play a major role in the formation of ozone, PM, haze, and acid rain.  The major sources of man-made NO X emissions are high-temperature combustion processes such as those that occur in automobiles and power plants. Nitrogen Oxides (NO X )

18  Short-term exposures (e.g., less than 3 hours) to low levels of NO 2.  Lead to changes in airway responsiveness and lung function in individuals with preexisting respiratory illnesses  May increase respiratory illnesses in children 5-12 years of age  Long-term exposures to NO 2.  Lead to increased susceptibility to respiratory infection.  May cause irreversible alterations in lung structure. NO X Adverse Health Effects

19  Sources  Formed when carbon in fuel is not burned completely  In cities, as much as 95 percent of all CO emissions may come from automobile exhaust.  Peak CO concentrations typically occur during the colder months of the year  National Ambient Standards for CO  1-hour average of 35 ppm  8-hour average of 9 ppm Carbon Monoxide (CO)

20  The health threat from levels of CO is most serious for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease such as angina pectoris.  At much higher levels of exposure not commonly found in ambient air, CO can be poisonous, and even healthy individuals may be affected.  Visual impairment, reduced work capacity, reduced manual dexterity, poor learning ability, and difficulty in performing complex tasks are all associated with exposure to elevated CO levels. CO Adverse Health Effects

21  Sulfur dioxide, or SO 2, belongs to the family of sulfur oxide gases (SO X ).  About 80% of the SO X gases in the atmosphere are formed when fuel containing sulfur, such as coal and oil, is burned, most of which come from electric utilities.  SO 2 dissolves in water vapor to form acid, and interacts with other gases and particles in the air to form sulfates and other products that can be harmful to people and their environment. Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2 )

22  Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO 2 Peak levels of SO 2 in the air can cause temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma who are active outdoors. Longer-term exposures to high levels of SO 2 gas and particles cause respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart disease.  Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles SO 2 reacts with other chemicals in the air to form tiny sulfate particles. When these are breathed, they gather in the lungs and are associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death. SO 2 Adverse Health Effects

23 Federal Air Quality Regulations  1990 Clean Air Act  Title I: Air Pollution Prevention and Control  Title II: Emission Standards for Moving Sources  Title III: General (Air Quality Monitoring)  Title IV: Acid Rain  Title V: Operating Permit  Title VI: Stratospheric Ozone Protection

24 Iowa Air Quality Regulations  Iowa Administrative Code (567 IAC Ch 20-39)  Establishes how the state will adopt and implement federal and state air quality rules  The IAC Air Quality Regulations are reviewed and “Federally Approved” by EPA as part of the State Implementation Plan (SIP).  The SIP is the basis for describing how the state will attain and maintain the NAAQS.

25  455B.144 Local control program.  1. Any political subdivision may conduct an air pollution control program within the boundaries of its jurisdiction, or may jointly conduct an air pollution control program with other political subdivisions of this state or of other states, except that every joint program shall be established and administered as provided in chapter 28E. In conducting such programs, political subdivisions may adopt and enforce rules or standards to secure and maintain adequate air quality within their respective jurisdictions. Local Air Quality Programs

26  2. If the board of supervisors in any county establishes an air pollution control program and has obtained a certificate of acceptance, the agency implementing the program may regulate air pollution within the county including any incorporated areas therein until such incorporated areas obtain a certificate of acceptance as a joint or separate agency.  [C71, §136B.14; C73, 75, 77, 79, 81, §455B.23] C83, §455B.144 Local Air Quality Programs

27 Implementing Clean Air Act  EPA must review the NAAQS every five years to endure that they are protective of human health.  Acts on the advice of the Clean Air Science Advisory Board who reviews the most recent medical and scientific data.  Develops rules to implement Clean Air Act.  EPA is still promulgating initial rules for elements of the 1990 Clean Air Act.  Often in response to court decisions  Consent orders for rule not-promulgated.  Rewriting rules that were overturned.

28 Benefits of the Clean Air Act  In March 2011, EPA issued the Second Prospective Report which looked at the results of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020  The direct benefits from the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are estimated to reach almost $2 trillion by 2020.  The direct costs of implementation will be $65 billion.

29 Benefits of the Clean Air Act Cases through Year 2010 Projected Cases through Year 2020 Adult Mortality - particles160,000230,000 Infant Mortality - particles230280 Mortality - ozone43007100 Chronic Bronchitis54,00075,000 Heart Disease - Acute Myocardial Infarction 130,000200,000 Asthma Exacerbation1,700,0002,400,000 Emergency Room Visits86,000120,000 School Loss Days3,200,0005,400,000 Lost Work Days13,000,00017,000,000

30 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) PollutantPrimary/ Averaging Time LevelForm Secondary Carbon Monoxide primary 8-hour9 ppm Not to be exceeded more than once per year 1-hour35 ppm Lead primary and Rolling 3 month average 0.15 μg/m 3 Not to be exceeded secondary Nitrogen Dioxide primary1-hour100 ppb 98th percentile, averaged over 3 years primary and secondary Annual 53 ppb Annual Mean Ozone primary and 8-hour0.075 ppm Annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8- hr concentration, averaged over 3 years secondary Particle Pollution PM 2.5 primary andAnnual15 μg/m 3 annual mean, averaged over 3 years secondary24-hour35 μg/m 3 98th percentile, averaged over 3 years PM 10 primary and 24-hour150 μg/m 3 Not to be exceeded more than once per year on average over 3 years secondary Sulfur Dioxide primary1-hour75 ppb 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, averaged over 3 years secondary3-hour0.5 ppm Not to be exceeded more than once per year





35 Excess Cancer Risks, Aldehydes Risk of 1 per 1 million people

36 Excess Cancer Risks, Benzene Risk of 1 per 1 million people

37  The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. The AQI tells how clean or polluted the outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern.Air Quality Index (AQI)  AQI data can be found on EPA’s AirNow website at Air Quality Index (AQI)


39  Air quality is measured by monitors that record the concentrations of the major pollutants each day at more than a thousand locations across the country.  An AQI value is calculated for each pollutant in an area (ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide). The highest AQI value for the individual pollutants is the AQI value for that day. How is the AQI Calculated?

40  EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.  The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern.  An AQI value of 100 generally corresponds to the national air quality standard for the pollutant, which is the level EPA has set to protect public health. Air Quality Index

41  "Good" The AQI value for your community is between 0 and 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.  "Moderate" The AQI for the community is between 51 and 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. AQI Categories

42  "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" When AQI values are between 101 and 150, members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.  "Unhealthy" Everyone may begin to experience health effects when AQI values are between 151 and 200. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. AQI Categories Continued

43  "Very Unhealthy" AQI values between 201 and 300 trigger a health alert, meaning everyone may experience more serious health effects.  "Hazardous" AQI values over 300 trigger health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected. AQI Categories Continued

44  Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.  Prolonged exertion is an activity that occurs over several hours and causes a person to breathe slightly harder than normal.  Cut back on more intense activities that require a person to breathe hard.  Breathing rate is a guide for how hard a person exerts themselves. Avoiding Exposure to Harmful Pollutants





49 Air Quality Advisory for Muscatine County

50 Resources  Iowa DNR Iowa DNR Air Quality Bureau 7900 Hickman Rd., Suite 1 Windsor Heights, IA 50324 515-242-5100  Sean Fitzsimmons Unit Leader: Ambient Air Monitoring 515-281-8923  Internet Resources Internet Resources     ces/ambient ces/ambient 

51 James Hodina, QEP MS Linn County Public Health 501 13 th Street NW Cedar Rapids, Iowa 502405 319-892-6010 Contact Information

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