Minneapolis Health Department

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250 S. 4th. Street, Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2301


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Minneapolis Air Quality

Air quality is an important priority for the city as strong links exist between air pollution and health problems, especially for sensitive groups such as the elderly, children and those with respiratory and cardiac problems.  

Environmental Health is committed to environmental equity. Historically, communities of color and low-income communities have been most affected by pollution in our community. The Air Quality: A Neighborhood Approach study was designed using the Racial Equity Toolkit developed by the Minneapolis Civil Rights department. Study results will be evaluated for environmental justice concerns.

Study - Air Quality: A Neighborhood Approach


Minneapolis air quality in the news



Goals of the study

The results will help prioritize how to spend time and resources on the next phase of the study.

Air quality study details

How are air samples collected?

Summa canisters are used to collect air samples. A valve on the canister is opened to allow air to flow into the canister. After a set amount o

The summa canister has a regulator which allows air to flow into the canister at a specific rate.

A summa canister is about the size of a basketball.

Summa Canister for collecting air samples




 A Summa canister








Below are charts and a map showing results of the study Air Quality: A Neighborhood Approach.
A link to the map is here. URL: https://goo.gl/1Hal3l 




Volunteers are an important partner for this study!

Young volunteers with Arne the Air Canister





Young volunteers getting "Arnie the Air Canister" ready to collect an air sample.

Why is ground level ozone a concern?

Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue. -EPA

MPCA monitoring

In Minnesota, ground-level ozone, sulfur-dioxide, carbon-monoxide and fine particles are monitored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Air quality is monitored in Minnesota by collecting data from over 50 sites throughout the state. This data is fed to the MPCA which compiles a statewide air quality index (updated hourly).

Helpful links

Air Quality Reports:
Minneapolis Air Quality Study 2008 

Minneapolis Air Quality Study 2007 

Air Quality Links:
Common Air Pollutants - EPA

What you can do to reduce air pollution:
Energy Star – Steps You Can Take To Reduce Air Pollution
CA Air Resources Board – What You Can Do

Ideas for teachers and educators:
CA Air Resources Board – Know Zone

To file a complaint regarding air emissions, odor or dust in Minneapolis, use the Environmental Management Online Complaint Form.




Last updated Mar 25, 2016