Bad air–conditions unfavorable to human comfort and health prevail in Minnesota

The national weather service has issued an “excessive heat warning” until 1900 Friday.

* temperatures: highs well into the 90s this afternoon and lows
  tonight in the mid 70s.

* Dew points: mid 70s to lower 80s.

* Heat indices: 105 to 115 degrees.

* Impacts: a heightened risk of heat related illness...  
  especially for those active outdoors or for those without air 

Precautionary/preparedness actions... 

Take extra precautions... if you work or spend time outside. When
possible... reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or
evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat
stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when
possible and drink plenty of water.

To reduce risk during outdoor work... the occupational safety and
health administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks
in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by
heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke
is an emergency... call 9 1 1.

An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of
dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot
temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous
situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of
fluids... stay in an air-conditioned room... stay out of the sun... 
and check up on relatives and neighbors.


In addition to this:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is issuing an air pollution health advisory for portions of eastern Minnesota, effective Thursday, July 21 from 11 a.m. through 9 p.m.. The affected area includes the Twin Cities Metro north and east to Cambridge, North Branch, Forest Lake and Stillwater.

[Friday is an air quality *alert* day due to forecasts of Code Orange conditions.]
Air quality is expected to deteriorate over the next two days.  Sunny skies, hot temperatures, and light winds will combine to cause an increase in ground-level ozone.  Air Quality Index (AQI) values are expected to climb into the 90s on Thursday in the advisory area, which is approaching air quality conditions considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Ozone concentrations will be the lowest in the morning hours Thursday, and will gradually rise midday through the afternoon. Air quality will improve overnight before worsening again on Friday, with additional advisories and alerts possible.

At-risk Populations: Ozone pollution is expected to be near a level considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Those sensitive to ozone include people with preexisting respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, the elderly, children, and individuals who participate in outdoor activities requiring extended or heavy exertion. These individuals are encouraged to postpone or reduce vigorous outdoor activity, or schedule outdoor activity in the morning, when ozone levels are lower. Even persons who are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when ozone levels increase.

Health Impacts: Elevated levels of ozone have been linked to respiratory and cardiovascular health effects. Exposure to high levels of ozone may exacerbate preexisting health conditions. High ozone levels may make it more difficult to breathe deeply and vigorously, cause shortness of breath and breathing discomfort, and result in coughing and a sore or scratchy throat. If you experience these symptoms, contact your physician.

Pollution-reduction Tips: Ozone is produced on hot, sunny days by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen. These pollutants are released from motor vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, paints and solvents, refueling stations, and other activities that require fuel combustion. Conserving energy; buying clean, renewable power; and utilizing alternative means of transportation, such as mass transit, will all reduce your contribution to air pollution. During air quality alerts, residents are particularly encouraged to use public transportation, car pool or reduce vehicle trips and engine idling. Postpone the use of gasoline-powered equipment and avoid burning wood.

 Visit for information on current air quality conditions in your area. To receive daily air quality forecasts and air quality alert notifications by email or text message sign up at You can find additional information on indoor and outdoor air quality in Minnesota at
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


The air quality forecast for the Twin Cities (the MPCA issues forecasts only for the Twin Cities and Rochester but conditions are often equally bad elsewhere in Minnesota) are:

Thursday:  Code Yellow

Friday: Code Orange  (I would call this Code Red as there is a Code Yellow forecast for particles in addition to the Code Orange forecast for Ozone.

Saturday:  Code Yellow.

In addition to this, is forecasting “medium” levels of allergens for the next few days. (

The cumulative effects of bad air quality, high temperature and humidity, and allergens have very serious health impacts.  Please take care and try to make sure that vulnerable people have access to air conditioned spaces.

The causes of bad air in Minnesota are, obviously, complex.  Simple answers are lacking.  But many of our problems are self-inflicted.   Scandalously, the “Pollution Control” Agency (1) actively campaigns to increase garbage incinerator pollutants, (2) has allowed the majority of air permits in Minnesota expire, and (3) has hired “Environmental Initiative” (an org beneath contempt) to run a campaign to prevent the EPA from designating Minnesota from being in “non-attainment” of air quality standards.  Shame, shame, and more shame.

Alan Muller

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