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MPCA issues air quality alert Sunday and Monday for central and SE Minnesota

Air quality alert issued due to "ground-level ozone": What does it mean?
Air quality alert issued due to "ground-level ozone": What does it mean? 02:19

MINNEAPOLIS – Central and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, will be under an air quality alert Sunday through Monday due to high levels of ground-level ozone.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says the alert will be from 8 p.m. Sunday through 8 p.m. Monday, with impacted areas including the metro, Albert Lea, Hinckley, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and the tribal nations of Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and Prairie Island.

MORE: Air quality alert issued in Minnesota due to "ground-level ozone" - What does it mean?

Ozone, which the MPCA says is created by "a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen," will build up during the afternoon and early evening hours on both days due to the trio of warm temperatures, dominant sunshine and low humidity.

The following people are at risk for health impacts due to poor air quality:

* Those with breathing conditions like asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD and emphysema

* Children and teens

* Anyone outside for long periods of time that are doing physically-intensive activities

* Healthy people who are ozone-sensitive

People in those groups are encouraged to minimize or avoid physical exertion outside, and avoid air pollution sources like fires and traffic.

The MPCA also encourages everyone to control their contributions to pollution during alert days by minimizing auto travel, postponing the use of lawn equipment or other gas-powered devices, and not having yard fires.

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