By Carol Tannenhauser
With smoke from hundred of wildfires in eastern Canada blanketing much of the United States, New York City experienced “very unhealthy” air quality Tuesday afternoon — at one point, the worst of any major city in the world, according to IQAir World Air Quality Index, rising to 218. “By comparison, the city’s air quality has generally been below 50 on the index in recent years, in the “good category,” and even improved during the pandemic-driven lockdown in 2020,” The New York Times reported.
Mayor Eric Adams issued a warning on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, stating: “If you’re a New Yorker with heart or breathing issues, be careful when you’re outdoors today. Smoke from wildfires in Canada is impacting our city’s air, so an Air Quality Health Advisory has been issued. Try to limit your outdoor activities today to the absolute necessities.”
Schools will be open on Wednesday, but the New York City Public Schools announced on Twitter that “Following guidance from City health agencies, all NYC Public Schools will be canceling all outdoor activities. Where possible, activities can be moved inside. This is a developing situation, and we will keep schools updated as new information becomes available.”
New York City officials urged at-risk residents to “wear high-quality masks outdoors as smoke blankets the city,” The Washington Post reported. “‘If you are an older adult or have heart or breathing problems and need to be outside, wear a high-quality mask (e.g. N95 or KN95),’ the office of Mayor Eric Adams said in statement late Tuesday.”
CNN reported that “a cold front is expected to move south over the next few days, pushing smoke farther south and east throughout the week.”
For more information, visit the National Weather Service at https://www.weather.gov/okx/ or the Department of Environmental Conservation at http://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/aqi/aqi_forecast.cfm