If the recent heat wave isn't enough to deter you from outdoor activity, the quality of the air expected this afternoon just might.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued another air pollution health advisory for Monday, July 2, due to expected increases in ozone pollution for the Twin Cities metro and Rochester.
The health advisory runs until midnight.
The advisory indicates that ozone levels are expected to be near a level that is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, including those with preexisting respiratory conditions, the elderly, children, and individuals who participate in outdoor activities requiring extended or heavy exertion.
A similar advisory was issued last week, and was upgraded to a health alert when ozone levels reached or surpassed the level of being unhealthy for vulnerable groups.
High levels of ozone can aggravate preexisting health conditions in these individuals.
The MPCA encourages people in these groups to postpone or reduce vigorous outdoor activity, or schedule outdoor activity in the morning, when ozone levels are lower.
Elevated levels of ozone can also affect people that are not considered vulnerable.
- Difficulty breathing deeply and vigorously
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing discomfort
- A sore or scratchy throat
- The MPCA recommends contacting your physician if you are affected by these symptoms.
Ozone is produced on hot, sunny days by a chemical reaction that occurs most often during fuel combustion. To help ease air pollution, residents are asked to “postpone or reduce vehicle trips; engine idling and refueling; the use of gasoline-powered equipment; working with paints and solvents; and burning wood,” during an advisory.
Winds carrying wildfire smoke are also exacerbating the situation, according to the MPCA.