New York Code Red Air Quality Alert issued after live fire updates in Canada

By | June 7, 2023

Orange smog envelops Ottawa as wildfires in Canada continue to fill the skies

New York City woke Wednesday to another day of dark, smoke-filled skies as it remained, for now, one of the worst places in the world for air pollution.

The Big Apple is currently second only to New Delhi when it comes to air pollution levels.

New Yorkers have been advised to limit their time outdoors and wear masks to protect themselves from the smoke.

The entire northeastern United States is battling smoke drifting south from more than 400 wildfires raging in Canada, which have led to mass evacuations in the province of Quebec. Canadian officials have warned that this could be the country’s worst bushfire season on record, with more than 6.7 million acres already burned.

The air quality index is currently at unhealthy levels across New York and other major cities as public officials encourage residents to limit outdoor activities to absolute necessities.

At least 10 school districts in central New York have canceled outdoor activities, including recess and exercise classes.

Climate scientists agree: While fires are part of the ecosystem in some regions, the climate crisis is making them more frequent and intense.

Dozens of studies have linked larger wildfires to global warming caused by emissions from burning fossil fuels.

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Public schools in New York and DC cancel outdoor activities as smoke from wildfires haunts the East Coast

New York City and Washington DC have canceled outdoor activities in public schools as smoke from wildfires billowing out of Canada clouds the skies and creates unhealthy weather across the northeastern United States.

Officials expect air quality to improve on June 7 but likely worsen later in the day, according to forecasters, after mouth-watering smoke and polluted conditions set off alarms across the region. Thirteen states have issued air quality advisories.

Thick smoke was expected to roll over New York and Philadelphia through Wednesday afternoon. The smoke should reach as far south as South Carolina.

My colleague Alex Woodward has more below.

Louise BoyleJune 7, 2023 3:45 pm

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New York City Mayors Office Talks Air Quality – Watch Live

Louise BoyleJune 7, 2023 3:32 pm

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The fires are causing heavy air pollution. So what’s causing the fires?

Climate scientists agree: While fires are part of the ecosystem in some regions, the climate crisis is making them more frequent and intense.

Dozens of studies have linked larger wildfires to global warming caused by emissions from burning fossil fuels. The last decade has been the warmest on record globally.

Melt snow earlier in the year, combined with droughts and warmer temperatures, leads to drier soil and vegetation that are ready to burn.

In the United States, the latest National Climate Assessment, produced by the federal government, linked man-made climate change with an increase in wildfires.

Forest fires and climate change form a vicious circle: the carbon released into the atmosphere by fires increases global warming, further drying the land and vegetation, making it more susceptible to fires.

Louise BoyleJune 7, 2023 3:24 pm

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What is the air quality index?

The phrase Air Quality Index is popping up on social media and in public officials announcements, so what is it? The Air Quality Index (AQI) is what the US Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies use to report on air quality.

The index ranges from 0 to 500 and the higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and health impacts.

An AQI below 50 is good air quality – over 300 is dangerous. For context, the AQI in my part of the New York City area right now is 153, which is an unhealthy level, particularly for young children and those with underlying health conditions like asthma and other illnesses. cardiac.

The color-coded air quality index

(AQI)

Louise BoyleJune 7, 2023 3:11 pm

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New York City wakes up to another smoke-filled day

The Manhattan skyline shrouded in smoke from wildfires in Canada on June 7, 2023

(REUTERS)

Louise BoyleJune 7, 2023 2:24 pm

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ICYMI: New York becomes world’s most polluted metropolitan city amid smoke from Canadian wildfires

Air quality in New York City was 174 Wednesday, a level considered unhealthy for all as Mayor Eric Adams urged residents to mask.

Here’s everything you need to know about the air quality slump and the alerts in place:

Stuti MishraJune 7, 2023 1:15 pm

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Do air purifiers work?

Faced with deteriorating outdoor air quality in New York City and much of the northeastern United States and Canada, many people seek refuge indoors, assuming that the air inside their homes or workplaces is safe and clean.

However, indoor air pollution can also be a significant concern with pollutants from outside entering our homes. That’s where air purifiers come in, which promise to remove harmful pollutants and improve indoor air quality.

But how effective an air purifier is for cleaner, healthier indoor environments depends on several factors.

Air purifiers are designed to target specific pollutants, such as dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Different models of air purifiers employ various filtration technologies, such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, activated carbon filters, or electrostatic precipitators.

With raging fires, fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 increases, which has a known impact on the respiratory system and causes cardiovascular disease.

By some estimates, a good quality HEPA filter reduces indoor smoke pollution by about 50-80%.

Air purifiers with HEPA filters can also be beneficial for people with allergies. They can effectively trap and remove common allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander, providing relief for allergy sufferers and improving overall comfort.

While activated carbon filters play a crucial role in eliminating unpleasant odors and reducing exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals.

To maximize the effectiveness of air purifiers, it is also important to consider the size of the purifier in relation to the room, as well as clean air delivery rate (CADR) and air changes per hour (ACH) specifications .

Regular maintenance, such as filter replacement and proper cleaning, is essential to ensure optimum performance.

Stuti MishraJune 7, 2023 12:46

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Washington DC prepares for “code red” air pollution today.

The Washington DC area found itself under an air quality alert code orange yesterday, indicating high levels of pollution in the air that could pose health risks to vulnerable individuals.

Conditions today are expected to worsen for DC residents, potentially reaching code red levels.

Clean Air Partners, which provides air quality forecasts for the Washington-Baltimore region, forecast code red conditions for Baltimore today, while worsening conditions are expected to reach Washington tomorrow. Some areas will still be under code orange.

Code orange refers to the 101-150 range of the Air Quality Index, which runs from 0 to 500. This range is considered unhealthy for vulnerable people and exceeds moderate levels of air pollution.

The graph shows AQI levels from 0 to 500

(Screengraf/IQAir)

Code red, however, is the unhealthy range for all individuals where anyone who goes out into polluted air feels discomfort.

According to the EPA’s AirNow webpage, during code red conditions, some members of the general public may experience health effects, while individuals in sensitive groups may experience more serious health consequences.

Stuti MishraJune 7, 2023 12:00

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What to do when the air quality is “unhealthy”

As air quality plummets and fine particle pollution levels rise in the northeastern United States and Canada due to raging wildfires, several health and safety alerts are afoot.

With AQI levels currently showing 174 for New York, authorities are urging residents to take appropriate steps to safeguard their health, especially for those who are most vulnerable.

The air quality advisories specifically highlight the risk to “sensitive groups,” which include children, older adults, and individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Among these groups, children are particularly susceptible due to their developing lungs and higher inhalation rates relative to body weight.

The impact of poor air quality is greatest on the lungs and heart.

Most notices right now are urging residents to limit outdoor activities, especially during peak pollution hours. When venturing outside becomes necessary, residents are advised to wear a properly fitted mask designed to filter out fine particles such as PM2.5.

Stuti MishraJune 7, 2023 11:30

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Detroit is the most polluted after New York as Michigan’s air quality remains poor

The most polluted city after New York is Detroit, which continues to remain in the top 10 polluted cities of the IQAir ranking.

The Swiss tech company tracking air quality levels shows New York currently topping the list, surpassing Delhi, Kuwait and Baghdad, while Detroit currently ranks sixth above Dhaka and Calcutta.

When New York’s pollution levels dropped briefly yesterday, New York and Detroit were in second and third place.

Here’s what Michigan’s AQI levels have been like so far:

Air quality advisories have been in place since Monday in parts of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as smoke engulfed several cities bringing hazy skies.

Sleeping areas in some parts of the state were expected to see some improvement, however, Detroit remains in the “very poor” category.

A brief relief is expected in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, but the poor air quality should continue for a long time.

Stuti MishraJune 7, 2023 11:06

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