Washington, Dakota and Goodhue counties were included in an air-quality alert issued for Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 through 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

According to the alert:

"Fine particle levels will continue to be in the Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups) category in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and central Minnesota this morning due to stagnant weather conditions. Fine particle levels have also reached the Orange category across southeast Minnesota. Light winds, fog, and a strong inversion have resulted in poor dispersion and air pollutants are accumulating and becoming trapped near the ground."

LINK: Current air quality (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

Pollution in the air can aggravate heart, cardiovascular and lung diseases, causing chest pain and shortness of breath and coughing, MPCA says. 

The agency advises Minnesotans to limit physical activity and for those with asthma to carry their rescue inhaler.

To reduce pollution:

  • Reduce vehicle trips.
  • Encourage use of public transport, or carpool, when possible.
  • Postpone use of gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment on air alert days. Use battery or manual equipment instead.
  • Avoid backyard fires.