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Understanding and Communicating Ambient Air Quality in Iowa

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and Communicating Ambient Air Quality in Iowa"— 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 Health Standards for Criteria Pollutants
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).

4 Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)
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.

5 Criteria Pollutants 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)

6 Comparison of Growth Areas and Emissions
Annual emissions estimates are used as one indicator of the effectiveness of our programs. The graph below shows that between 1980 and 2010, gross domestic product increased 127 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 96 percent, energy consumption increased 25 percent, and U.S. population grew by 36 percent. During the same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 67 percent. The graph also shows that between 1980 and 2009, CO2 emissions increased by 19%. Note: CO2 emissions estimate through 2009(Source: 2011 US Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report)          Gross Domestic Product: Bureau of Economic Analysis          Vehicle Miles Traveled: Federal Highway Administration          Population: Census Bureau          Energy Consumption: Dept. of Energy, Energy Information Administration          Aggregate Emissions: EPA Clearinghouse for Inventories and Emissions Factors (see the graphic above for )

7 In 2010, 124 Million People Lived in US Counties Exceeding NAAQS
Despite great progress in air quality improvement, approximately 124 million people nationwide lived in counties with pollution levels above the primary NAAQS in 2010. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division In addition, from 1990 to 2005, emissions of air toxics declined by approximately 42 percent. These reductions are the result of implementing stationary and mobile source regulations. The majority of the air toxics emitted in 2005 are also precursors of ozone and/or particle pollution. In recent years, EPA has acted to dramatically improve America's air quality by designing and developing national programs that, when fully implemented, will achieve significant reductions in air emissions. The associated air quality benefits will lead to improved health, longevity, and quality of life for all Americans.

8 Formation of Criteria Air Pollutants
CO, SO2, and NOX (From the Stack or Pipe) Directly emitted to the atmosphere from anthropogenic sources; mostly products of combustion. Ozone, O3 (Reaction of End of Pipe Emissions) Formed in the atmosphere through the reaction of NOX 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 SO2 and NOX. Fine PM is < 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) Coarse PM is < 10 microns in diameter (PM10)

9 Particulate Matter 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) "Inhalable coarse particles," such as those found near roadways and dusty industries, are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter. "Fine particles," such as those found in smoke and haze, are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires, or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air.

10 Particulate Matter

11 Source of Particulate Matter (PM)
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.

12 PM Adverse Health Effects
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.

13 PM Adverse Health Effects
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.

14 Ozone (O3) 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 O3 concentrations. Ozone and the precursor pollutants that cause O3 also can be transported into an area from pollution sources located hundreds of miles upwind. Ground-level O3 remains a pervasive pollution problem in the United States. Ozone is readily formed in the atmosphere by the reaction of VOCs and NOx in the presence of sunlight, which is most abundant in the summer. VOCs are emitted from a variety of sources, including motor vehicles, chemical plants, refineries, factories, consumer and commercial products, other industries, and natural (biogenic) sources. Nitrogen oxides (a precursor to ozone) are emitted from motor vehicles, power plants, and other sources of combustion, as well as natural sources including lightning and biological processes in soil. Changing weather patterns contribute to yearly differences in O3 concentrations. Ozone and the precursor pollutants that cause O3 also can be transported into an area from pollution sources located hundreds of miles upwind.

15 Ozone (O3) Good Ozone. Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth's upper atmosphere-6 to 30 miles above the Earth's surface-where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. This beneficial ozone is gradually being destroyed by human made chemicals. An area where the protective "ozone layer" has been significantly depleted-for example, over the North or South pole-is sometimes called "the ozone hole." Bad Ozone. In the Earth's lower atmosphere, near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight. Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant.

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 Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) NOX 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 NOX emissions are high-temperature combustion processes such as those that occur in automobiles and power plants. Nitrogen dioxide is a reddish brown, highly reactive gas that is formed in the ambient air through the oxidation of nitric oxide (NO). Nitrogen oxides (NOx), the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases that contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts, play a major role in the formation of ozone, PM, haze, and acid rain. While EPA tracks national emissions of NOx, the national monitoring network measures ambient concentrations of NO2 for comparison to national air quality standards. The major sources of man-made NOx emissions are high-temperature combustion processes such as those that occur in automobiles and power plants. Home heaters and gas stoves can also produce substantial amounts of NO2 in indoor settings.

18 NOX Adverse Health Effects
Short-term exposures (e.g., less than 3 hours) to low levels of NO2. 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 NO2. Lead to increased susceptibility to respiratory infection. May cause irreversible alterations in lung structure. Short-term exposures (e.g., less than 3 hours) to low levels of NO2 may lead to changes in airway responsiveness and lung function in individuals with preexisting respiratory illnesses. These exposures may also increase respiratory illnesses in children. Long-term exposures to NO2 may lead to increased susceptibility to respiratory infection and may cause irreversible alterations in lung structure. NOx react in the air to form ground-level ozone and fine particle pollution, which are associated with adverse health effects. NOx contribute to a wide range of environmental effects directly and when combined with other precursors in acid rain and ozone. Increased nitrogen inputs to terrestrial and wetland systems can lead to changes in plant species composition and diversity. Similarly, direct nitrogen inputs to aquatic ecosystems such as those found in estuarine and coastal waters (e.g., Chesapeake Bay) can lead to eutrophication (a condition that promotes excessive algae growth, which can lead to a severe depletion of dissolved oxygen and increased levels of toxins harmful to aquatic life). Nitrogen, alone or in acid rain, also can acidify soils and surface waters. Acidification of soils causes the loss of essential plant nutrients and increased levels of soluble aluminum that are toxic to plants. Acidification of surface waters creates conditions of low pH and levels of aluminum that are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. NOx also contribute to visibility impairment.

19 Carbon Monoxide (CO) Sources National Ambient Standards for CO
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

20 CO Adverse Health Effects
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.

21 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Sulfur dioxide, or SO2, belongs to the family of sulfur oxide gases (SOX).  About 80% of the SOX gases in the atmosphere are formed when fuel containing sulfur, such as coal and oil, is burned, most of which come from electric utilities. SO2 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.

22 SO2 Adverse Health Effects
Respiratory Effects from Gaseous SO2 Peak levels of SO2 in the air can cause temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma who are active outdoors.  Longer-term exposures to high levels of SO2 gas and particles cause respiratory illness and aggravate existing heart disease. Respiratory Effects from Sulfate Particles SO2 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.

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 Local Air Quality Programs
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.

26 Local Air Quality Programs
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

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 - particles 160,000 230,000 Infant Mortality - particles 230 280 Mortality - ozone 4300 7100 Chronic Bronchitis 54,000 75,000 Heart Disease - Acute Myocardial Infarction 130,000 200,000 Asthma Exacerbation 1,700,000 2,400,000 Emergency Room Visits 86,000 120,000 School Loss Days 3,200,000 5,400,000 Lost Work Days 13,000,000 17,000,000

30 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Pollutant Primary/ Averaging Time Level Form Secondary Carbon Monoxide primary 8-hour 9 ppm Not to be exceeded more than once per year 1-hour 35 ppm Lead primary and Rolling 3 month average 0.15 μg/m3 Not to be exceeded secondary Nitrogen Dioxide 100 ppb 98th percentile, averaged over 3 years primary and secondary Annual 53 ppb Annual Mean Ozone 0.075 ppm Annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hr concentration, averaged over 3 years Particle Pollution PM2.5 15 μg/m3 annual mean, averaged over 3 years 24-hour 35 μg/m3 98th percentile, averaged over 3 years PM10 150 μg/m3 Not to be exceeded more than once per year on average over 3 years Sulfur Dioxide 75 ppb 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, averaged over 3 years 3-hour 0.5 ppm Source:

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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 Air Quality Index (AQI)
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. AQI data can be found on EPA’s AirNow website at The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells how clean or polluted the outdoor air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern. The AQI focuses on health effects that some people may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.

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39 How is the AQI Calculated?
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.

40 Air Quality Index 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. 1. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health. 2. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. 3. 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. AQI values below 100 are generally thought of as satisfactory. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy-at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values get higher.

41 AQI Categories "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. "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 your 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. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.

42 AQI Categories Continued
"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. "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" When AQI values are between 101 and 150, members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. This means they are likely to be affected at lower levels than the general public. For example, people with lung disease are at greater risk from exposure to ozone, while people with either lung disease or heart disease are at greater risk from exposure to particle pollution. 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.

43 AQI Categories Continued
"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.

44 Avoiding Exposure to Harmful Pollutants
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. 1. 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. Reducing prolonged exertion could mean reducing the time spent on this type of activity. 2. Risk can be reduced by cutting back on heavy exertion—more intense activities that cause a person to breathe hard. This might mean walking instead of jogging, or jogging for half the usual time. 3. Breathing rate is a guide to how hard a person exerts themselves. If unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, or breathing difficulty, is experienced, activity level should be reduced.

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49 Air Quality Advisory for Muscatine County

50 Resources Iowa DNR Internet Resources www.epa.gov/airtrends
Air Quality Bureau 7900 Hickman Rd., Suite 1 Windsor Heights, IA 50324 Sean Fitzsimmons Unit Leader: Ambient Air Monitoring Internet Resources

51 Contact Information James Hodina, QEP MS Linn County Public Health th Street NW Cedar Rapids, Iowa


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