|2||Ponca City, Oklahoma|
|3||Charles Town, West Virginia|
|4||Sylvan Springs, Alabama|
|8||Peaceful Valley, Washington|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|2||3rd Avenue South|
|4||170th Avenue Northeast|
|5||Knox Ave S|
|8||SE 6th Avenue|
|10||Minneapolis - Bottineau/Marshall Terrace|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 31 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 7.6 µg/m³|
|pm10|| 12.7 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Saturday, Apr 10|
Good 7 US AQI
|Sunday, Apr 11|
Good 13 US AQI
|Monday, Apr 12|
Good 7 US AQI
|Tuesday, Apr 13|
Good 10 US AQI
Good 7 US AQI
|Thursday, Apr 15|
Good 18 US AQI
|Friday, Apr 16|
Good 20 US AQI
|Saturday, Apr 17|
Good 15 US AQI
|Sunday, Apr 18|
Good 6 US AQI
|Monday, Apr 19|
Good 5 US AQI
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Minneapolis is the most populous city in the US state of Minnesota. In 2019, it had an estimated population of 429,606 which ranked it as the 46th most populous city in the US. Minneapolis straddles both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minneapolis River.
In early 2021, Minneapolis was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 91. This classification is in accordance with the recommended figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The level of the recorded pollutants were PM2.5 - 31.1 µg/m³ and PM10 - 51.7 µg/m³. With levels such as these, the advice would be to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air inside the house. Those of a sensitive disposition should avoid venturing outside until the air quality improves. If this is unavoidable, then a high-quality mask must be worn at all times and exposure should be kept to a minimum.
Looking back at figures recently released on the IQAir website, it can be seen that Minneapolis achieved the WHO target figure of less than 10 µg/m³ for the 2020 average of 8.4 µg/m³. From February all the way to the end of November, this target figure was attained. In January the figure was slightly higher at 11.2 µg/m³ which is still classified as “Good”. And December saw another slight increase to 12.1 µg/m³ which just pushed it into the next bracket of “Moderate” quality air between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
For 8 months of the year in 2019, Minneapolis once again achieved the WHO target figure. During the months of March and July, the air quality was classed as “Good” with figures between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For the two remaining months of February and December, the quality of air was “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
In comparison with previous years, it can be seen that the air quality remains stable. In 2017 the figure was 7.7 µg/m³, in 2018 it was 7.8 µg/m³ and in 2019 it was 8.8 µg/m³.
As with most large cities, anywhere in the world, the main source of air pollution is from vehicle emissions followed by exhausts from industry and power stations.
In the past, Minneapolis has been plagued by smoke drifting over from Canadian wildfires. The severity of the polluted air is very dependent on the direction of the prevailing winds.
Several years ago, the authorities made vast improvements to the Air Quality Index website so that obtaining the correct up-to-date information was a lot more accurate. Elevated air quality indexes can mean trouble for people with lung or heart disease, older adults, children and people participating in activities that require heavy or extended periods of exertion.
Over the past 30 years, the Clean Air Act has resulted in extreme reductions in air pollution across the country. Regulations on the biggest polluters and emission standards on technologies such as boilers and vehicles have been very successful in lowering overall levels of air pollution in Minneapolis and across the country. Today, Minneapolis’s air is better than all national standards and nearly all health standards.
The Clean Air Act requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants that are considered harmful to public health and the environment. The EPA sets standards for six common air pollutants which are ozone (O3), fine particles (PM2.5 and PM10), lead (Pb), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The MPCA monitors air pollution across the state and compares the results to accepted national standards. These national standards are designed to protect both human health and the environment.
For most of the time, the air quality in Minneapolis is not a problem, only when levels rise beyond an agreed limit are warning issued via the AQI website. Overall, the number of days where there is a high level of ozone is getting smaller as each year passes.
Despite consistent improvements in the number of good air quality days, the number of days with poor air quality varies from year to year. In 2015, across Minnesota, there were 12 bad air days with high levels of ozone. These bad air days were primarily due to elevated fine particle (PM2.5) pollution resulting from wildfire smoke transported into the area from Canada.
Minneapolis is blessed by having large expanses of water within the city boundaries. There are at least 13 lakes together with areas of wetland and creeks and waterfalls which are surrounded by parkland and greenery. Trees and growing plants and flowers are very good for the atmosphere, especially in a city where the greenery helps filter the air.
Unfortunately, air pollution here is still linked to over 2,000 deaths a year and sends another 1,000 to the hospital with asthma and other respiratory-related illnesses.
Ground-level ozone (ozone with adverse effects for humans or smog) is created when emissions from industrial factories, electric utilities, vehicle exhausts and gasoline vapour react with chemicals in the presence of ultraviolet rays.
It is especially dangerous for children and the elderly, and anyone already susceptible to lung disease and symptoms of asthma. And it’s not just humans subjected to the harmful effects of ozone: sensitive vegetation, including edible plants, and ecosystems also react negatively to bad air.
Nearly 40 per cent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of smog pollution.
When inhaled, smog irritates the airways, increasing the risk of serious heart and lung diseases. These health risks are why many cities monitor smog levels. On a high ozone-alert day, for example, your eyes and throat may burn, and you may cough and wheeze. Your eyes may also water and your skin itch. It all depends on the content of the polluted air and the concentration and the length of time exposed to it.
Reducing smog will protect all Americans, especially children, senior citizens and people who are active outdoors, either through exercise or the need to work there.
Ozone is also a known lung irritant, associated with a variety of respiratory effects, including chest pain, asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.
Because of their microscopic size, PM2.5 can be inhaled deep into the lungs and even reach the bloodstream. The particles can accumulate in the respiratory system and cause serious health effects. Scientific studies, for example, have linked particle pollution to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory illnesses.