Tell Dubuque City council to install an air quality monitor
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Dubuque used to have a air quality monitor (SO2) But it was removed some time after 1997 (last downloadable readings.https://epa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5f239fd3e72f424f98ef3d5def547eb5&extent=-146.2334,13.1913,-46.3896,56.5319 ) The closest monitor is in Potosi Wisconsin ( pm 2.5), the closest ozone monitor is in Stockton Illinois. When those sensors read high It can be a decent indicator of air quality in Dubuque. But those sensors are far enough away that we can never see the true picture. Now since Dubuque Lies in a valley it allows for two significant meteorological events. The first being a temperature inversion which causes pollution to be trapped in the valley due to a bubble of hot air trapping the pollution in the valley. The second being the valley lies from north and south and the wind blows from west to east and blows over the top of the valley keeping the air down.
Dubuque needs a air monitor to make sure we know what we are breathing. Why is it Dubuque has gone years without a monitor? Should we not know what's in our air? Please help by signing this petition.
Now what type of monitor should we get? Thats a good question. The epa has monitors that rea lead, ozone, NO2 , CO, PM 10 and Pm 2.5 as well as SO2. (If you don't want to read the information about each of the chemicals skip to the bolded line)
SO2: The main source of sulfur dioxide in the air is industrial activity that processes materials that contain sulfur, eg the generation of electricity from coal, oil or gas that contains sulfur,Sulfur dioxide affects human health when it is breathed in. It irritates the nose, throat, and airways to cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or a tight feeling around the chest."http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/factsheet-sulfur-dioxide-so2"
Pm 2.5 : There are outdoor and indoor sources of fine particles. Outside, fine particles primarily come from car, truck, bus and off-road vehicle (e.g., construction equipment, snowmobile, locomotive) exhausts, other operations that involve the burning of fuels such as wood, heating oil or coal and natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Fine particles also form from the reaction of gases or droplets in the atmosphere from sources such as power plants.Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Scientific studies have linked increases in daily PM2.5 exposure with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, emergency department visits and deaths. Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5. "https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/air/pmq_a.htm"
PM 10 :Coarse particles (PM10-2.5) are of less concern, although they can irritate a person's eyes, nose, and throat. The EPA document Particle Pollution and Your Health (PDF) (2 pp, 320 K, about PDF) explains more about who is at risk from exposure to fine and coarse particles, and includes simple measures that can be taken to reduce health risks. " https://www3.epa.gov/region1/airquality/pm-human-health.html"
CO: is given off whenever fuel or other carbon-based materials are burned. CO usually comes from sources in or near your home that are not properly maintained or vented.You may be exposed to unsafe levels of CO by:using poorly maintained or unvented heating equipment;improperly vented natural gas appliances like stoves or water heaters;running vehicles in garages or other enclosed spaces;
using a gas stove, grill, or oven to heat the home;house or building fires;clogged chimneys or blocked heating exhaust vents;running generators or gas-powered tools indoors or outside near windows, doors, or vents;cooking with a charcoal or gas grill inside the home or other enclosure;using a propane camp stove, heater, or light inside a tent; and being near boat engine exhaust outlets.CO can cause headache, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea "https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/showCoRisk.action"
No2: The major source of nitrogen dioxide in Australia is the burning of fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. Most of the nitrogen dioxide in cities comes from motor vehicle exhaust (about 80%). Other sources of nitrogen dioxide are petrol and metal refining, electricity generation from coal-fired power stations, other manufacturing industries and food processing.The main effect of breathing in raised levels of nitrogen dioxide is the increased likelihood of respiratory problems. Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.Increased levels of nitrogen dioxide can have significant impacts on people with asthma because it can cause more frequent and more intense attacks. Children with asthma and older people with heart disease are most at risk."http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/factsheet-nitrogen-dioxide-no2"
Ozone: Ozone is a gas that is formed when nitrogen oxides react with a group of air pollutants known as 'reactive organic substances' in the presence of sunlight. (See fact sheet on air toxics.) The chemicals that react to form ozone come from sources such as: motor vehicle exhaust, oil refining, printing, petrochemicals, lawn mowing, aviation, bushfires and burning off. Ozone can irritate the lining of the nose, airways and lungs. People who are exposed to enough ozone might feel some pain in their ears, eyes, nose and throat, and they might start to cough. Chest pains can also occur in some people. People with asthma might have more attacks and athletes might find it harder to perform as well as usual. "http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/factsheet-ground-level-ozone-o3"
So which one do we need ?
In my opinion the one we could benefit most from is a PM 2.5 monitor since we no longer have a coal power plant here our SO2 level should have dropped dramatically. PM 2.5 is one of the more harmful pollutants.
I have purchased a purple air monitor which can be viewed here https://www.purpleair.com/map?&zoom=12&lat=42.51096371645533&lng=-90.49603397369383&clustersize=30&orderby=L&latr=0.21916699676481244&lngr=0.6591796875 You can buy one as well If you want its a great way to check the airquality in your neighborhood
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