(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an Air Quality Alert for much of the state due to high ozone levels.
The alert will remain active through 9:00 p.m. Thursday for an area stretching from the Iowa border to just south of Bemidji.
MPCA officials say a combination of sunlight, warm temperatures and low humidity will create conditions for volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides to react and produce ground-level ozone.
Unlike other air quality alerts issued this month, this advisory is not linked to Canadian wildfire smoke. Rather, the pollutants are expected to be carried on the wind from Chicago, Iowa and southeastern Minnesota.
Air quality levels are expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. That includes people with asthma or other breathing conditions; children and teenagers; and anyone doing extended outdoor physical activity, either labor or exercise.
Those whose health may be impacted are advised to limit prolonged outdoor activity, avoid pollution sources like roads or wood fires, and keep an emergency inhaler on hand, if applicable.
Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and fatigue.
The MPCA also asks the general public to limit greenhouse gas emissions by reducing their car trips or carpooling if possible and to wait to use gas-powered landscaping equipment, such as lawnmowers or leaf blowers.
Information on current air quality conditions is available, HERE.