ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- An air pollution health advisory has been issued for Rochester on July 4 from noon until midnight.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says ozone pollution is expected to be near a level that is considered unhealthy for people with preexisting respiratory conditions, the elderly, children, and people who participate in vigorous outdoor activity.
Nancy Miller with the MPCA says the Air Quality Index (AQI) is expected to reach 93 in Rochester on July 4.
If the AQI reached 100, the MPCA would issue an ozone alert.
"When it reaches 100, that's when the air quality can really effect individuals and specifically very sensitive groups," Miller said.
Ozone is produced on hot, sunny days by chemical reactions that are happening in the air.
These pollutants are released most commonly from vehicles.
It can be made naturally but chemicals from the recent wildfires in Colorado are in the mix as well.
"There's these huge wildfires out west that we're also getting chemicals and particulates, and things are coming in from that air stream," Miller said.
High ozone levels may make it more difficult to breathe deeply, cause shortness of breath, and result in coughing and a sore or scratchy throat.
During air quality advisories, the MPCA asks people to reduce vehicle travel, the use of gasoline-powered equipment, working with paints and solvents and burning wood.
Miller suggests that if people have things they need to get done, to try doing it during the early hours.
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