Thursday, June 21, 2018

Minnesota issues fine particle pollution warning for southern part of state

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued an air pollution health advisory for fine particle pollution in the state’s southwest and south central regions on Tuesday. The warning was in effect until Wednesday morning.

The advisory was made due to increased levels of pollutants that created unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups.

The elevated levels of fine particle pollution spread in a diagonal band and affected Marshall, Redwood Falls, New Ulm and Hutchinson. Fine particles are created from combustion activities like fossil fuel-based energy generation, vehicle exhaust, gasoline-powered equipment and burning wood.

When an Air Quality Index (AQI) reaches levels higher than 101, sensitive groups can face increased risk of health impacts. Those affected by fine particle pollution include the elderly, children, people with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases and people undertaking strenuous activities for an extended period.

Individuals who fit those groups, or even otherwise healthy people, may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or fatigue, and are encouraged to avoid exertion and local sources of pollution like traffic and wood fires.

Fine particle pollution can be reduced by conserving energy, using renewable power and increased use of mass transit, amongst other methods. Current air quality conditions can be found on the MPCA’s Air Quality Index webpage.

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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

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