New York Air Quality Alert: Canadian Wildfire Smoke

Is the air quality good in New York?

The air quality in most of New York State on Monday, July 17, 2023 is in the ranges of “unhealthy for sensitive groups” to “unhealthy” (1). Upstate New York is expected to be “unhealthy,” poor air quality that poses a health threat to all residents. In the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island the air quality is expected to be “unhealthy for sensitive groups”

By noon, areas of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse had unhealthy air quality.

Is there an air quality alert in New York?

There is a state-wide air quality alert in place for New York (2). Several alerts and measures have been put in place to address the situation.

What is causing poor air quality in New York?

New York’s poor air quality is primarily caused by smoke from wildfires in Western Canada. Winds are expected to bring an expansive plume of wildfire smoke into the state, resulting in elevated levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) spreading across Upstate New York. The chemical compounds found in wildfire smoke are also expected to increase ozone production Downstate.

How is New York responding to poor air quality?

  • Emergency cell phone alerts will warn New Yorkers if the air quality index exceeds the 200 threshold for “very unhealthy” air according to the U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI) and is sustained for longer than an hour.
  • N95 masks are being made available to the public statewide.
  • Hospitals are advised to remain on alert for an influx of emergency department visits from patients experiencing respiratory issues.
  • Transit authorities are utilizing various communication channels to provide air-quality related safety information to customers.

How can I protect myself from poor air quality?

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