Protect yourself from poor air quality

July 27, 2023

The City’s Health Department is offering free N95 masks to help protect community members from poor air quality conditions.

The Health Department will give out masks on Friday, Aug. 4 at five locations throughout the city. Individuals, community organizations and businesses can request up to 200 masks.

“Throughout our state and city, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of air quality alerts due to wildfires and ozone production concerns,” said Deputy Commissioner Heidi Ritchie, Minneapolis Health Department. “Providing masks to help minimize the impacts of poor air quality is one step in keeping people healthy. It’s especially important for those who have sensitivities and/or can’t stay indoors, like our community of unsheltered and housing unstable neighbors.” 

Complete the mask pick up form

Locations and times
Those picking up masks at our four fire station locations on Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. must sign up online ahead of time. Locations include:

  • Fire Station 14: 2002 Lowry Ave. N.
  • Fire Station 15: 2701 Johnson St. NE
  • Fire Station 21: 3209 38th St. E.
  • Fire Station 27: 5410 Nicollet Ave. S.

Those picking up masks downtown on Aug. 4 can sign up online or just drop in.

  • Public Service Building: 505 S. Fourth Ave. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Come to main entrance)

Protect yourself from poor air quality
Air quality issues can affect everyone, especially:

  • People with lung or heart disease
  • Children and elderly
  • People working and exercising outside

Please take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family.

  • Wear a N95 or KN-95 mask
  • Stay indoors
  • Use HEPA air filters and air cleaners designed to reduce particles
  • Take it easy and listen to your body
  • Limit, change, or postpone your physical activity
  • 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
  • Get medical help if you are feeling ill or experience breathing issues

For the most updated information on air quality alerts, sign up for daily air quality forecasts and alert notifications.

Help reduce air pollution:

  • Avoid backyard fires
  • Reduce travel: Carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk
  • If driving, do not idle your vehicle
  • Avoid using gas lawnmowers and other gas-powered landscaping equipment