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Air quality alert issued for parts of southern Minnesota

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Air Quality Alert now in effect until Tuesday due to Canadian wildfires

ST. PAUL, Minn. – An air quality alert has been issued for Tuesday afternoon that includes the Twin Cities metropolitan area, St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, and the tribal nations of Mille Lacs, Upper Sioux, and Prairie Island. 

Ground-level ozone is expected to be high during the afternoon hours on Tuesday, and air quality is expected to reach the Orange level that is unhealthy for sensitive groups.  Southerly winds are transporting pollutants into the state. Sunny skies, warm temperatures, and low humidity will allow these pollutants to react in the air to produce ground-level ozone.  Ozone will be highest during the afternoon and early evening hours Tuesday when sunshine is most abundant, and temperatures are highest.

People whose health is affected by unhealthy air quality: 

-          People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

-          Children and teenagers.

-          People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors.

-          Some healthy people who are more sensitive to ozone even though they have none of the risk factors. There may be a genetic base for this increased sensitivity

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says unhealthy ozone levels can aggravate lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and COPD.  When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like difficulty breathing deeply, shortness of breath, throat soreness, wheezing, coughing, or unusual fatigue.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.

Air Quality Alert May 22 2023

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