Air quality alert casts pall over Minnesota

[WCCO-TV News, July 30, 2021] State regulators says we’re facing an unprecedented air quality warning. Throughout the day, we’ve seen smoky skies and muted skylines as the smell of smoke lingers, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency now says they expect smoke to stick around until Tuesday.

The smoke is blowing south, blanketing the entire state and much of Wisconsin in a thick haze.

As we wait for the smoke to clear, what can we do safely this weekend?

“People with lung problems really shouldn’t be outside this weekend,” said Dr. Andrew Stiehm, a pulmonologist at Allina Health’s United Lung and Sleep Clinic.

Exercising outside this weekend is in the red zone, meaning if you can avoid it you should. But if you are going to be outside, masks can help and N-95 or KN-95 is going to protect you a lot more than a cloth mask.

“An N-95 would make a lot of things reasonable this weekend if you’re willing to wear an N-95,” Stiehm said.

Posted on July 31, 2021 in Allina Health United Lung & Sleep Clinic

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