Ambient Air Quality

The Ambient Air Quality section provides technical expertise, equipment calibration and maintenance for sampling and analysis of Iowa's ambient air quality. In fiscal year 2013, the section serviced 70 air monitors in 15 Iowa counties. These monitors, along with monitors maintained in Linn and Polk counties by their respective health departments, form an air quality surveillance network covering all the major population and industrial centers in Iowa.

Amanda Hughes, environmental specialist, compares and verifies the ambient temperature of a continuous monitor to a National Institute of Standards and Technology device.

Data from these 15 counties is available in the Ambient Air section of the Hygienic Laboratory's website. That information includes measures of:

Real-time data is available for several of the pollutants listed above.

In fiscal year 2013, six locations were added to the monitoring network: Backbone State Park, in Delaware County; the Waterloo water tower; Lake Sugema, near Keosauqua; Neal North Power Plant near Sergeant Bluff; and Greenwood Cemetery and the east campus of Muscatine High School both in Muscatine.