More than 98 million Americans are under air quality alerts due to fumes from a series of wildfires that have swept across Canada in recent weeks. Several states in the United States have been affected, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. New York City, in particular, has been identified as the city with the worst air quality in the world, according to the IQ Air ranking.
As of 12:20 pm ET this Thursday, June 8, New York City has an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 163. The figures during yesterday exceeded 300, a level considered “very harmful” to health, due to the smoke pollution from the fires. According to a NASA projection, the poor air quality is expected to last at least four days, which means there will be pollution throughout the weekend, “from the Midwest to the Southeast.”
Given the severity of the situation, the authorities recommend not leaving homes unless it is necessary. Outdoor activities are not recommended, and companies are called upon to implement home office on these days, if possible. If you have to go outside, the authorities recommend the use of masks. “An N95 mask might be of some help, but I wouldn’t count on it being the absolute solution to the problem. A mask is going to be an option to help. Anything is better than nothing, and an N95 mask would offer the most protection,” says Dr. Adrian Pristas, a pulmonologist at Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center, according to statements collected by CNBC.
People with heart and/or lung disease, high blood pressure or asthma, pregnant women, young children, and older adults are considered at higher risk and are more likely to suffer some type of damage. Consequently, the authorities ask citizens to take precautions to ensure their safety.
In conclusion, the wildfires in Canada have caused a negative impact on air quality throughout several US states, including New York City, which is currently facing the worst air quality in the world. The authorities recommend staying at home and avoiding outdoor activities during this time. If you have to leave your home, it is recommended to wear a mask for additional protection, especially if you are at risk of respiratory problems. Stay safe!