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Air pollution advisory includes Detroit Lakes area

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Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has issued an air pollution health advisory for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, Rochester, St. Cloud, Marshall, and Detroit Lakes areas for Thursday, December 17 through Friday, December 18.  

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Light southerly winds and local temperature inversions are encouraging fine particle transport and buildup in the region. As a result, Air Quality Index (AQI) levels in the Twin Cities are forecasted to be high-moderate on Thursday and unhealthy for sensitive groups on Friday, with an expected peak AQI of 105. The MPCA issues an air pollution health alert when actual AQI levels exceed 101.

Air quality is expected to improve late Friday as winds increase and clean air from the north enters the region.  The extended air quality forecast indicates air quality will improve to low-moderate conditions on Saturday, and should become good by Sunday.

While most people do not experience health problems when the AQI is below 100, especially- sensitive individuals may need to limit exertion as the AQI approaches the 90s.

Those with respiratory or cardiovascular problems, young children, the elderly, and physically active individuals are the most sensitive to elevated levels of air pollution. Since fine particles can be drawn deeply into the lungs, it is a good idea to reduce or postpone activities that lead to deep or accelerated breathing. Exposure to high levels of fine particles may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue, even after air quality has improved. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.  Even individuals that are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when air pollution increases.

Everyone can take steps to reduce contributions to local air pollution. Reducing motor vehicle emissions by carpooling, combining trips, avoiding idling, and using alternate transportation all help. During poor air quality events, residents should also avoid burning wood and reduce their energy consumption.

For hourly air quality updates, visit the MPCA AQI Web site at http://aqi.pca.state.mn.us/.  Sign up to receive daily air quality forecasts and air pollution health alerts by email at http://mn.enviroflash.info.

Do not reply directly to this email. If you want more information on the air quality forecast, or other aspects of the local air quality program, please contact your local air quality agency using the information above. For more information on the U.S. EPA's AIRNow Program, visit http://www.airnow.gov.

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