Atlanta Air Quality Alert: Canadian Wildfire Smoke

Is the air quality good in Atlanta?

The air quality in Atlanta on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, is poor. Air quality across the city ranges from “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to “unhealthy” (1)(2)(3).

Are there any alerts in place?

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division issued a Code Orange Alert for Atlanta . A Code Orange indicates that the air quality index (AQI) is between 101 and 150, which is considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups” such as the elderly, children, and individuals with lung or heart conditions.

However, as of noon much of the air quality in northern Georgia is “unhealthy,” an air quality range that can affect everyone’s health.

Authorities are urging sensitive groups to limit prolonged outdoor exertion during the late afternoon or early evening when ozone concentrations are highest.

Why is there an air quality alert in Atlanta?

Concentrations of unhealthy air pollution found in PM2.5 – particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter – can cause short-term problems like coughing and itchy eyes and is linked to heart and lung disease. At this tiny size, PM2.5 can enter the bloodstream and affect all organs of the body.

PM2.5 is a common pollutant found in wildfire smoke.

What is causing poor air quality in Atlanta?

The smoke Canadian wildfires is the primary cause of the poor air quality in Atlanta. The smoke has created a haze in the sky and reduced visibility, and it is expected to persist due to ongoing wildfires in Canada.
In addition to the air quality concerns, Atlanta is also experiencing a heatwave, with temperatures reaching the upper 90s and potentially near 100°F by Wednesday. This intensifies the overall weather conditions and adds to the potential health risks for Georgians.

How can I protect myself from poor air quality?

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