(FOX 9) - An Air Quality Alert has been issued for much of central Minnesota due to fine particles. The alert is in effect from 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 through 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.
The affected area includes the Twin Cities metro, Rochester, Mankato, Willmar, Prairie Island and the Tribal Nations of Prairie Island and Upper Sioux.
Fine particles rose into the Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) category in the Twin Cities metropolitan area Tuesday morning due to stagnant weather conditions. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, "light winds, clear skies and a strong inversion have resulted in poor dispersion, trapping air pollutants near the ground."
There are people who are more likely to be affected when fine particle pollution reaches an unhealthy level.
- People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- People who have heart disease or high blood pressure
- Children and older adults
- People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors
Air pollution can aggravate heart and cardiovascular disease as well as lung diseases like asthma and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, or fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, use your inhalers as directed and contact your health care provider.
Take precautions: Everyone should take precautions when the air quality is unhealthy.
- Take it easy and listen to your body.
- Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity level.
- If possible, stay away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires.
- If you have asthma or other breathing conditions like COPD, make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
- People with asthma should review and follow guidance in their written asthma action plan. Make an appointment to see your health provider if you don’t have an asthma action plan.
- Pollution reduction tips: The main sources of fine particle pollution is any activity that uses fuel. Conserving energy and buying clean, renewable energy are great lifestyle choices to help reduce overall pollution.
- Reduce vehicle trips.
- Encourage use of public transport, or carpool, when possible.
- Avoid backyard fires.
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