Air pollution health advisory extended to July 4
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air pollution health advisory for the Twin Cities metropolitan area and Rochester from noon until midnight Wednesday, July 4. An air pollution health advisory remains in effect for the Twin Cities metropolitan area Tuesday, July 3, from noon until midnight.
On Tuesday, July 3, forecasted temperatures in the upper 90s, sunny skies, and light southerly winds carrying wildfire smoke are expected to help create ozone in the Twin Cities. As a result, the air quality index is forecasted to reach 97 in the Twin Cities today, which is just below air quality conditions considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ozone concentrations will begin to decline overnight but are expected to increase to 93 Wednesday, July 4, in the Twin Cities and Rochester. If the air quality index exceeds 101, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will issue an air pollution alert.
People with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, young children, the elderly, and individuals who are physically active are considered especially sensitive to elevated levels of air pollution. Be prepared to postpone or reduce vigorous activity. Ozone and fine particles can be drawn deeply into the lungs, so reduce activities that lead to deep or accelerated breathing. Even people who are otherwise healthy may feel health effects when air pollutant levels increase.
How you can help:
Residents can take simple steps to help reduce emissions that create smog. Motor vehicle emissions contribute to fine particle pollution. To lower levels of air pollution, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency urges residents to use alternate modes of transportation such as mass transit, car pools, biking and walking to work or shop.
Other measures that will help reduce emissions on days when the index reaches 100 and above include:
1. Limit driving - share a ride to work and postpone errands until the next day.
2. Don’t idle your vehicle for more than three minutes.*
3. Refuel your vehicle after 6 p.m.
4. Postpone using other gasoline-powered engines, such as garden and recreational equipment.
5. Postpone indoor and outdoor recreational fires.
6. To reduce the demand on power plants, turn off as many electric items as possible.
7. If you fall in the sensitive group category, arrange to work indoors for the day.
*The City of Minneapolis has limits on vehicle idling that aim to reduce air pollution in Minneapolis. The ordinance limits most vehicle idling to three minutes, except in traffic. Reducing vehicle idling in Minneapolis translates into less air pollution, protecting the public health and the environment and saving money in fuel. Vehicle motors release particulate matter, dirt, nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air.
Published Jul. 3, 2012