Click to read about Climate Click to read about Energy Click to read about Air Click to read about Water Click to read about Land

Asthma Transit


Air Pollution

Tracking pollution
Minnesota’s air currently meets all federal health standards. However, even air pollution at levels below those standards can affect people’s health. Minnesota’s air quality is always changing due
 to weather patterns and can differ across the state. Wildfire smoke from other regions, ozone on hot summer days, and wintertime stagnation episodes are the most common recent causes of poor air quality in Minnesota. Air quality forecasts and alerts let the public know when they should take precautions to protect their health.

Personal decisions
We make decisions every day that can negatively affect air quality, including driving, using gas-powered lawnmowers, and having backyard fires. Together, we can improve air quality by replacing car trips with riding mass transit, bicycling, and walking, and using electric or push mowers.


Air and health
Even levels of air pollution below federal standards can contribute to serious illness and early death. Asthma, a condition exacerbated by poor air quality, is one of the most common chronic diseases in the U.S. In Minnesota, one in 14 people has asthma. Asthma can be managed with tools such as an Asthma Action Plan, but thousands of Minnesotans visit the emergency room each year; in 2016, 76 people in the state died due to asthma. 

Some people more vulnerable

Breathing polluted air is not good for anyone, but people with preexisting conditions or uncontrolled asthma, children, the elderly, and people in particular communities are affected more than others. Children in the Twin Cities metro area go to the ER for asthma at a rate nearly twice that of children in Greater Minnesota. In some Minneapolis zip codes, asthma hospitalization rates for children are four times higher than the rest of the state. Poorer air quality in the metro area could be a contributing factor, and efforts to reduce air pollution are a critical part of addressing the disparities.


Learn more about Asthma:





Transit and air quality
Increasing public transit options and improving access to them reduces demand for automobile travel and lessens tailpipe emissions. Areas with traffic congestion are in particular need of air quality improvements. Public transit, such as light rail and buses, also improve health equity by providing safe, convenient, reliable, and affordable access to jobs, schools, healthy food options, parks, and other opportunities for physical activity.

After many years of steady growth, transit ridership began to decline in the past two years. Ridership across the state dropped by 3% in 2016 and another 1% in 2017. Currently, Minnesota is not on pace to meet the state’s transit ridership targets. A 2017 regional fare increase, low gas prices, and shifting travel patterns are influencing the decline in ridership, which is a trend happening nationwide.

Read more about Transit:

Click to read about Climate Click to read about Energy Click to read about Air Click to read about Water Click to read about Land