New Report Traces Health Impacts of Air Pollution Across Minnesota
6/11/2019 Kari Etrheim, Public Health

Speakers from Life and Breath media event

While air quality in Minnesota is generally good, a new joint analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) found that air pollution that does occur plays a measurable role in deaths and hospitalizations across the state.

The report, “Life and Breath: How Air Pollution Affects Health in Minnesota,” broadens the scope of a 2015 analysis covering only the Twin Cities metro area. The new report looked at air pollution and health data from outside the metro area. It found that air pollution’s impact on health is not limited to the state’s urban core and even people in rural areas can feel the effects.

Air pollution in Minnesota plays a role in up to 4,000 deaths, 500 hospitalizations, and 800 emergency-room visits annually. Groups most affected by air pollution include older adults, children with uncontrolled asthma, and people in poverty. The report says that air pollution is not just a city problem, and that overall pollution levels are higher in the southern part of the state.

View the full MDH news release.

A media event to promote the release of this new report was held at Chester Woods Park in Olmsted County on June 11, 2019.