The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has cancelled the air pollution health alert it issued for the Twin Cities and Rochester areas for Tuesday, March 10. The air pollution health advisory the MPCA issued for the southern two- thirds of Minnesota, including the Duluth, Detroit Lakes, Brainerd and Marshall areas, has also been cancelled. An air pollution health advisory will remain in effect for the Twin Cities metropolitan area through Wednesday, March 11.
Increased wind speeds and reduced fog have lead to decreased fine particle levels across Minnesota. While AQI levels are expected to remain in the moderate category through Wednesday, with the exception of the Twin Cities metro area, AQI levels will be below advisory levels. The AQI forecast for the Twin Cities indicates that fine particle levels may reach 91 AQI on Tuesday and Wednesday, but will return to good conditions by Thursday, March 11, as wind speeds increase and become more northerly.
Those with respiratory or cardiovascular disease, young children, the elderly and individuals who participate in activities that require heavy exertion are the most sensitive to elevated levels of air pollution. Since fine particles can be drawn deeply into the lungs, it is a good idea to reduce or postpone activities that lead to deep or accelerated breathing. Exposure to high levels of fine particles may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and/or coughing and fatigue, even after air quality has improved. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician. Even individuals who are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when air pollution increases.
Everyone can help reduce air pollution. Reducing motor vehicle emissions by carpooling, combining trips, avoiding idling, and using alternate transportation all help. Avoiding burning wood and reducing energy consumption is also recommended.
For hourly air quality updates, visit the MPCA AQI Web site at http://aqi.pca.state.mn.us/. Sign up at http://mn.enviroflash.info to receive daily air quality forecasts and air pollution health alerts by e-mail or text message.