Air Quality Monitoring

Ambient Air Quality affects everyone. Children often play outside during hot, muggy summer afternoons. Their lungs are still developing, and they breathe more rapidly and inhale more air pollution per pound of body weight than adults. On days when smog levels are high, these factors put children at increased risk for respiratory problems. Adults breathe about 20,000 times each day. During exercise or strenuous work, we breathe more often and draw air more deeply into our lungs. When we exercise heavily, we may breathe in up to ten times more air than we breathe when we are resting.


Polk County Services:
Polk County Air Quality works in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency to preserve the air quality of Iowa.

Polk County Air Quality operates and maintains a network of air quality monitors throughout Polk County that test for air pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter. Currently, the Air Quality laboratory maintains a monitoring network that consists of the following pollutants:

  • Ozone (O3)
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Particulate Matter (PM-10)
  • Particulate Matter (PM-2.5)
  • Particulate Matter (PM Sensors)
  • Air Toxics
  • Wind Speed
  • Wind Direction