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Air Pollution Health Alert for Fridley and Much of MN until Noon Sunday

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency urges at-risk groups to take it easy outside.

Fridley and much of Minnesota is under an air-pollution health alert until noon on Sunday. If you are especially sensitive to air pollution, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) advises you to avoid exerting yourself outside. Even people not in at-risk groups could feel the effects of the elevated levels of fine particles in the air.

Here is the statement relased Saturday by the MPCA:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued and air pollution health alert for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota effective at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 1st and expiring at noon on Sunday, December 2nd. Fine particle pollution is elevated at monitoring sites in Detroit Lakes, Brainerd, St. Cloud, Marshall, Rochester, and the Twin Cities. Fine particle pollution may reach levels considered unhealthy for people that are sensitive to air pollution.

At Risk Populations: Fine particle levels are expected to reach a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Populations sensitive to fine particles include those with preexisting cardiovascular or respiratory disease, the elderly, children, and individuals that participate in activities requiring extended or heavy exertion, both indoors and outdoors. Members of these groups are encouraged to postpone or reduce vigorous activity and minimize exposure to local sources of air pollution (i.e. heavy duty vehicle traffic, wood fires, and candles). Even individuals that are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when pollution levels increase.

Health Impacts: Exposure to high levels of fine particles has been linked with both respiratory and cardiovascular health effects. Fine particles may exacerbate pre-existing health conditions and may cause individuals to experience chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.

Pollution Reduction Tips: Fine particles are produced from combustion activities, which includes fossil fuel based energy generation, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline powered yard and lawn equipment, and wood burning.  Conserving energy, buying clean renewable power, and utilizing alternate means of transportation will all reduce your daily contribution to air pollution. During air quality alerts residents are particularly encouraged to postpone or reduce vehicle trips and engine idling, the use of gasoline powered equipment, and burning wood.

Current Air Quality Conditions and Forecast: Moderate south-southeasterly winds, early morning fog and a strong temperature inversion are transporting and trapping fine particle pollution across the southern two-thirds of Minnesota today.  Fine particle pollution is expected to continue to increase throughout the day Saturday and into early Sunday morning. As wind speeds increase Sunday afternoon, fine particle levels are expected to fall, resulting in mid-moderate AQI levels. Air quality is expected to return to good conditions on Monday, as a cold front moves into Minnesota.

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