3/7/2013 4:05:00 PM MPCA issues air pollution health advisory for region
Earlier today, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued an air pollution health advisory for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, effective Friday through midday Saturday.
Air quality monitors indicate that fine particle pollution is increasing across the southern two-thirds of the state. On Friday, early morning fog, high pressure and light southerly winds are expected to cause fine particle pollution to approach a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. These conditions are expected to persist until midday Saturday, when increased wind speeds are expected to improve air quality conditions.
According to the MPCA report, fine particle pollution is expected to be near a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Populations sensitive to fine particles include those with preexisting cardiovascular or respiratory disease, the elderly, children and people who take part 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. Examples are: heavy duty vehicle traffic and wood fires.
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.
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.