It used to be hard to tell exactly how bad air pollution is for people living in Minnesota, but now we have a better idea. Scientists from the MPCA and the Department of Health (MDH) have taken an in-depth look at how air pollution impacts people throughout the entire state at a county level in a new report.
Life and Breath: How air pollution affects public health in Minnesota (2019) is an expansion of the 2015 report that covered the seven-county metro area, broken down by ZIP code.
The report estimates the overall public health burden of air pollution, specifically from fine particles and ozone, in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties and evaluates disparities in whether different parts of the state or different demographic subpopulations bear more of the brunt of air pollution than others. Some of our key findings include:
- 5-10% of all deaths in Minnesota, or between 2,000-4,000 deaths every year, are attributable to air pollution.
- Air pollution is not just an urban issue, and many rural areas of greater Minnesota have higher vulnerabilities than our more densely populated cities.
- Some of the sub-populations of Minnesota that are most vulnerable to air pollution include elderly and lower-income people.
Find out more on MPCA's Life and Breath report webpage.