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Experts offer more information on Minnesota air quality alert

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Minn. (KTTC) -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has put out an alert for most of the state due to the poor air quality. A pulmonologist from Mayo Clinic has some advice for those that may be more susceptible to the damaging, tiny particles in the air.

"We issued this air quality alert Monday night because of wildfire smoke from Ontario that was being carried down by northern led winds by the cold front into northern Minnesota," said David Brown of the MPCA.

"There was also some smoke that came down and kind of recirculated around the Great Lakes region. Came down through Wisconsin and that smoke is what moved into the Southeast part of the state," stated Brown.

According to the MPCA, the fine level particles recorded over the past few days have been historic.

"Some of the highest measurements that we've ever recorded on our MPCA monitors," Brown said.

These fine level particles the MPCA is seeing can be damaging to everyone, but some individuals are more sensitive.

"For the average person out there that doesn't have pre-existing heart, lung or other significant chronic medical conditions it's more of an annoyance certainly than any life threatening problem," said Mayo Clinic pulmonologist Dr. Clayton Cowl.

"For those that have known pre-existing cardio pulmonary conditions. Those with primary lung conditions, COPD, asthma. Certain heart conditions can also be affected by it," stated Dr. Cowl.

Dr. Cowl has several precautionary approaches for those more vulnerable.

"I think staying indoors, using medications as directed and trying to avoid activities that involve heavy physical exertion. That's going to be very important," said Dr. Cowl.

The MPCA expects the wildfires to continue throughout the rest of the summer. To stay updated on air quality alerts, you can visit MPCA's website or State AQI | AirNow.gov .

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Carli Petrus

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