Air quality alert issued for Tuesday, May 29

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an air quality alert for the Twin Cities metro and southeast Minnesota, effective Tuesday, May 29th from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. The affected area includes the Twin Cities metro, Rochester, and Albert Lea.

Air quality is expected to worsen again Tuesday to unhealthy levels.  Winds will bring high levels of pollutants that contribute to ozone from the south. Sunny skies and hot temperatures will combine to cause an increase in ground level ozone. Air Quality Index (AQI) values are expected to climb into the low 100s on Tuesday in the alert area.  This is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ozone concentrations will be the lowest in the morning hours Tuesday, and will gradually rise midday through the afternoon. Air quality will improve in the late afternoon as thunderstorms move into the alert area from the west.

People whose health is affected by unhealthy air quality:  There are people who are more likely to be affected when ozone pollution reaches an unhealthy level.

Health effects: Unhealthy ozone levels can aggravate lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and COPD. When the air quality is unhealthy, people with these conditions may experience symptoms like difficulty breathing deeply, shortness of breath, throat soreness, wheezing, coughing, or unusual 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.

Pollution reduction tips: Ozone is produced on hot, sunny days by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen.

For information on current air quality conditions in your area and to sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications by email, text message, phone, or the Minnesota Air mobile app visit MPCA’s website at: You can find additional information about health and indoor and outdoor air quality at the agency’s air quality and health webpage


Published May 29, 2018



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