The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an air quality alert for east-central Minnesota, effective Tuesday, June 8th, from Noon through 9 pm. The affected area includes the Twin Cities metro area and St. Cloud.

Benton, Sherburne, and Stearns Counties are included in the alert.

Air quality is expected to worsen today and Air Quality Index values are expected to reach the 'Orange' or 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' category.

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Sunny skies, hot temperatures, and light winds will produce an environment favorable for emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can quickly form ozone. Ozone concentrations will be the lowest in the morning hours Tuesday, will gradually rise midday, and peak in the late afternoon. Air quality will improve Tuesday evening.

MN Pollution Control Agency
MN Pollution Control Agency

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.

  • People who have asthma or other breathing conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
  • Children and teenagers.
  • People of all ages who are doing extended or heavy, physical activity like playing sports or working outdoors.
  • Some healthy people who are more sensitive to ozone even though they have none of the risk factors. There may be a genetic base for this increased sensitivity.

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