Air quality alert issued for eastern, central Minnesota

- An air quality alert is in place for eastern and central Minnesota until 8 p.m. Friday night due to a combination of high temperatures, wildfire smoke and abundant sunshine.

The affected area includes the Twin Cities metro, Marshall, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Tribal Nation of Upper Sioux from noon to 8 p.m.

Unhealthy air quality can aggravate lung diseases like asthma, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), causing people to experience difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, throat soreness, wheezing, coughing or unusual fatigue.

Who’s affected?

  • People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • Children and teenagers
  • People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors
  • Some healthy people who are more sensitive to ozone even though they have none of the risk factors – possibly genetic

What can you do?

  • Reduce vehicle trips and fill-up your gas tank at dawn or dusk
  • Encourage use of public transport, or carpool, when possible
  • Postpone use of gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment on air alert days. Use battery or manual equipment instead
  • Avoid backyard fires
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