Air pollution rising: Advisory issued for central, southern MN Thursday

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Fine particles in the air will make for particularly potent pollution levels in central and southern Minnesota Thursday.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued an air pollution health advisory that extends from Thursday morning through early evening.

The agency says particles in the air have been slowly increasing statewide. But an overnight combination of low clouds, fog, and light winds will cause pollution to approach levels that are unhealthy for sensitive groups. Those include children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.

Winds are expected to pick up Thursday evening, which should dissipate the particles, the MPCA says.

Advisory, not alert

The MPCA has air quality monitors around the state and you can check the Air Quality Index here.

A reading of 101 or more is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. An air pollution advisory means the index will be near that level. An alert is issued if the air quality is likely to pass that 101 mark and stay above it for awhile, the MPCA says.

What should you do during a pollution advisory? Postpone any strenuous exercise if you can. Call a doctor if you're feeling chest pain or shortness of breath.

You can also keep the pollution from getting worse by driving less, not idling your car's engine, and not using gas-powered equipment or burning wood.

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