Even low air pollution levels can contribute to serious illnesses
Air quality in Minnesota currently meets federal Clean Air Act standards and has, in fact, been improving. But air pollution is associated with a variety of harmful lung and heart health issues, including asthma, COPD, and heart disease. The severity of these effects varies depending on the type of the pollutant, level of exposure, and individual susceptibility.
The pollutant of most concern from wildfire smoke is fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). PM 2.5 from wildfire smoke is damaging to human health because it can deeply penetrate lung tissue and even affect the heart and circulation. Learn more about fine particles (PM 2.5) and your health.
Asthma ER visits due to air pollution are 5x higher in Twin Cities communities with greater numbers of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) than in other parts of the cities. Learn about air quality and health.