There are many different sources of pollution, and may forms of exposure that community members must deal with on a day to day basis. Air pollution is one form that impacts the health and well-being of our children and our elders. The risk posed to our health depends on a variety of factors including the toxicity of the pollution, the level or intensity of pollution, age and development stage, and other existing health issues or stressors.
Poor air quality or exposure to air pollution is linked to a variety of respiratory diseases like asthma. Some forms of air pollution are also high in cancer-causing toxins.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency MNRisks tool models how exposure to pollution changes across Minnesota communities based on pollution from industry (also called point sources), traffic (non-point sources), and other sources in this detailed model. This tool estimates the amount of pollutants to which communities are exposed. The “level of concern” for adults may also be lower for children or others who are more sensitive to its impacts or those who breathe more polluted air by working or exercising outdoors.
The map below shows the areas of concern for inhalation of risks for cancer in the city of Minneapolis — brown areas shown on map have higher pollution.