Minneapolis Air Quality
Air quality is an important priority for the city as strong links exist between air pollution and health problems, especially for sensitive groups such as the elderly, children and those with respiratory and cardiac problems.
Environmental Health is committed to environmental equity. Historically, communities of color and low-income communities have been most affected by pollution in our community. The Air Quality: A Neighborhood Approach study was designed using the Racial Equity Toolkit developed by the Minneapolis Civil Rights department. Study results will be evaluated for environmental justice concerns.
Study - Air Quality: A Neighborhood Approach
Minneapolis air quality in the news
Goals of the study
Gain a greater understanding of air quality where we work, play and live.
Compare air quality results to health risks.
Understand pollutants and their potential sources at a local level.
The results will help prioritize how to spend time and resources on the next phase of the study.
Air quality study details
Air samples will be collected eight times quarterly from November 2013 to August 2015.
Each air sample is collected for 72 hours (three days).
Approximately 100 collection canisters are placed citywide at the same time for each air collection event. Canisters are placed on residential, commercial, Park Board and City property.
Residential volunteers are an essential part of this study.
Each canister is analyzed for 61 VOCs looking for VOCs over health risk value (HRV). A Health Risk Value (or guidance value for air) is defined as the concentration of a chemical (or a defined mixture of chemicals) that is likely to pose little or no risk to human health.
How are air samples collected?
The summa canister has a regulator which allows air to flow into the canister at a specific rate.
A summa canister is about the size of a basketball.
A Summa canister
Volunteers are an important partner for this study!
Young volunteers getting "Arnie the Air Canister" ready to collect an air sample.
Why is ground level ozone a concern?
Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue. -EPA
In Minnesota, ground-level ozone, sulfur-dioxide, carbon-monoxide and fine particles are monitored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Air quality is monitored in Minnesota by collecting data from over 50 sites throughout the state. This data is fed to the MPCA which compiles a statewide air quality index (updated hourly).
Air Quality Links:
Common Air Pollutants - EPA
What you can do to reduce air pollution:
Energy Star – Steps You Can Take To Reduce Air Pollution
CA Air Resources Board – What You Can Do
Last updated Mar 25, 2016