Contact: Pam McCurdy, 651-757-2559
St. Paul, Minn.— When high levels of ozone and other pollutants build up in the air, some Minnesotans have difficulty breathing. For some people, poor air quality means they must stay inside or change their activities for the day. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers text message or email alerts for residents who want to be notified about air quality in their area.
Overall, Minnesota has good air quality compared with other states. But from time to time, weather conditions, large fires and other factors can cause the air quality to become unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children, older adults, people with heart or lung problems or people who are working or exercising vigorously.
On days when air quality becomes less healthy, the MPCA issues air quality alerts so that residents can take action to protect their health and minimize activities that could contribute to the diminished air quality conditions.
St. Paul resident Melissa Wenzel subscribes to air quality notices so that she can understand her options when biking and recreating outside. Wenzel bikes to work, and sometimes experiences exercise-induced asthma.
“On days when there is an air quality alert, I have noticed that I can’t breathe as well,” says Wenzel. “If I know the air quality is diminished, I will usually walk instead of biking, or take other precautions. I appreciate having the notices come right to me so I can plan accordingly. It’s nice to have options.”
To sign up for email or text message alerts about air quality, visit the EnviroFlash Air Quality Notification page. During the subscription process, subscribers can specify the type of alerts they wish to receive, including the air quality level at which they want to be notified.
More information about air quality, visit the We All Breathe webpage..