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Air quality alert issued for southern Minnesota on Tuesday

The alert runs from 12 to 8 p.m. and impacts the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, and the Mille Lacs region, among others.

MINNEAPOLIS — The southern half of Minnesota will be dealing with unhealthy air for a good chunk of the day Tuesday after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) declared an air quality alert. 

Ozone pollution will impact the Twin Cities area, St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall and the tribal nations of Mille Lacs, Upper Sioux and Prairie Island between noon and 8 p.m. — the official hours of the alert.

MPCA expects ground-level ozone levels to increase as southerly winds transport pollutants into the state. Sunny skies, warm temperatures and low humidity will fuel these pollutants to react and produce ground-level ozone. Conditions will be most unhealthy during the afternoon and early evening hours when sunshine is most abundant and temps are highest. 

The alert says air quality is expected to reach the Orange AQI category. This is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups; Seniors, young children, those with heart and lung disease, people with cardiovascular and respiratory issues and anyone engaged in heavy, physical activities like playing sports or working outdoors.

When there is an air quality alert, all residents are advised to take the following precautions:

  • Take it easy and listen to your body.
  • Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity.
  • If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
  • If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD, make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
  • People with asthma should review and follow the guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you don’t have an asthma action plan.


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