The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an Air Pollution Health Advisory for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota (including the Metro area) starting later today (Friday, Feb. 22) and running through next Monday. Air quality is expected to improve as weather conditions bring winds early next week.
Air monitors indicate fine particles are near a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups in the Rochester area today. Levels are lower but approaching unhealthy for sensitive groups in the rest of the southern half of the state, including the Twin Cities. Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, children and athletes.
Health precautions: Be prepared to postpone or reduce vigorous activity, even if you are not in the sensitive category. Fine particles can be drawn deeply into the lungs, so reduce activities that lead to deep breathing (indoors and outdoors).
Reduce air pollution: Limit driving; don't idle your vehicle or other engines; turn off as many electric devices to reduce demand on (and pollution from) power plants; postpone unnecessary fires, which add soot particles to the air.
To learn more about air pollution or check hourly updates of the air quality index (AQI), go to the MPCA's AQI Web page: http://aqi.pca.state.mn.us/index.cfm. Click the map location nearest your home to learn about current air quality in the area.