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Twin Cities advised to car pool, avoid fires and vigorous exercise due to air pollution

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Twin Cities residents should consider car pooling and avoiding vigorous exercise, wood fires and candles this weekend because of high air pollution levels.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality advisory for the whole of southern Minnesota which will be in place until Sunday morning, and has warned that "at-risk" groups such the elderly, children, and those with heart or lung conditions could feel the effects.

The Twin Cities currently has the third-worst air pollution levels in the United States, according to Airnow, with Rochester fourth. The Twin Cities is expected to have a similar air quality Saturday.

The MPCA says it is being caused by fine air particles being trapped near the ground by the recent warmer temperatures, high moisture and low wind, and this will remain until Sunday, when a cold front is expected to bring lower temperatures and shifting winds.

The quality of the air isn't at such a level where it is considered unhealthy for at-risk groups, but the MPCA has nonetheless warned people to avoid certain types of activities this weekend.

The Pioneer Press says at-risk groups are being advised to "postpone or reduce vigorous activities and minimize exposure to local sources of air pollution, such as heavy-duty traffic, wood fires and candles."

The MCPA adds: "Even individuals who are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when pollution levels increase."

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