Minneapolis Conducts Air Quality Study

Updated: 02/06/2014 7:54 PM
Created: 02/06/2014 5:41 PM
By: Todd Wilson

For the first time since 2006 the City of Minneapolis is conducting an in-depth study of air quality.

Canisters that trap air were placed all over the city. The air will be analyzed by researchers.

A KSTP crew caught up with Patrick Hanlon as he hiked through a snow bank to get to a couple of canisters.

"It's a vacuum sealed canister. This is the regulator, it pulls in a sample over the course of 72 hours," he said.

Hanlon says as Minneapolis has gotten denser there are two different air quality concerns. One is going over federal standards for fine particulates, in other words, industrial and transportation pollution, then there's ground level ozone.

"One of the contributing factors to ground level ozone is an organic compound. In 2012 we had 28 days that were over health standards," Hanlon said.

Children, people with heart or lung issues, older adults and active people of all ages who exercise or work vigorously are at risk.

An initial study was done in 2006. This current study started last fall, and 120 canisters were placed throughout Minneapolis.

"We're going to take snap shots of a 120 different sampling locations around the city. We're going to do that eight times. So it's eight different snap shots four times a year over two years," he said.

Hanlon says most people don't realize the long term affects of air pollution. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, air pollution, particularly fine particles, are likely responsible for a few thousand premature deaths annually.

The economic cost of premature deaths caused by air pollution is upward of $30 billion according to MPCA.

"We really want to take a look at air quality where people work, play and live in Minneapolis," said Hanlon.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

36° | 28°
  • Feels like: 23° F
  • Wind: SE 9mph
  • Humidity: 79%
  • Wed More clouds than sun
    40° | 28°
  • Thu Mostly cloudy
    30° | 15°
  • Fri More sun than clouds
    24° | 15°
  • Sat Considerable cloudiness
    26° | 10°