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St. Croix County under pollution alert

St. Croix County, along with all of the Twin Cities metro area, is under an air pollution alert today (Wednesday).

The alert, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, indicated that the region is reporting moderate levels of pollution.

Wednesday is deemed an "action day," where unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

Action days are usually called when the AQI gets into the unhealthy ranges. Different air pollution control agencies call them at different levels.

The current level is Code Yellow.

In some places, action days are called when the AQI is forecast to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups, or Code Orange. Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee are under a Code Orange for today.

In this case, the groups that are sensitive to the pollutant should reduce exposure by reducing prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors. For ozone this includes: children and adults who are active outdoors, and people with lung disease, such as asthma. For particle pollution this includes: people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children. Occasionally, an action day is declared when the AQI is Moderate, or Code Yellow, if the levels are expected to approach Code Orange levels.

In many places, action days are called when the AQI is forecast to be Unhealthy, or Code Red. In this case, everyone should reduce exposure to air pollution, but especially the members of the sensitive group for the particular pollutant. In some places, action days are called when the AQI is forecast to be Unhealthy, or Code Red. In this case, everyone should reduce exposure to air pollution, but especially the members of the sensitive group for the particular pollutant.

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