Smoky air in Minnesota can bring some health impacts, doctors warn

The view of downtown Minneapolis was almost non-existent on Wednesday due to the smoke from the wildfires in Canada. (FOX 9)

Smoke from wildfires burning in Canada has created some poor air quality and smoky conditions across Minnesota. Even as the conditions lessen from Tuesday, the smoke can be troublesome for some people.

For Diane Hron, she says the poor air quality didn't seem to impact her morning run.

"I ran 7 miles," she said, "just do kind of a loop so it wasn’t too bad actually."

Horn said the air was much clearer Wednesday morning and she had no problems. "This morning I went pretty early though, it wasn’t really bad when I ran."

And early is good advice when the air quality is like this. The quality goes down as the temperature goes up. And when the air quality index gets over 100, Dr. David Ingbar, a pulmonologist and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, says that is concerning.

Dr. Ingbar says current levels of both ozone and particulates from the smoky haze pose a threat to those with heart or lung conditions and they likely are well aware. But even otherwise healthy people face a slight risk.

"Cardiovascular deaths go up, hospitalizations go up, respiratory flare-ups of different sorts go up," explained the doctor.

That doesn't mean you can't get out and exercise in this. It just means, Dr. Ingbar explains, that you need to pay attention to how you feel when you do.

"If somebody’s getting shortness of breath, if they feel like their lungs are burning, if they’re having chest tightness or pain, any of those things I would say slow it down," added Dr. Ingbar. "Cut it back, take a pause, or stop."

The good news is that the impacts on the air quality are expected to lessen the rest of the week. In the meantime, if you are sensitive to poor air quality, you should try to stay indoors as much as possible.