Air Quality Poor in Northeast due to West Coast Wildfires

Some of the northeast states are experiencing poor air quality due to the more than 100 west-coast wildfires currently occurring. On top of that, there are 180 wildfires in Canada bringing worsening air quality into the U.S., and as of July, New York City shows AQI levels at 137, indicating unhealthy air quality, the highest number of this year so far.

According to Accuweather, “At this elevated number, health effects can be immediately felt by sensitive groups. Healthy individuals may experience difficulty breathing and throat irritation with prolonged exposure, and should limit outdoor activity.” Nevertheless, the danger remains higher for west coast residents than east coast residents as they have been directly hit by harsh wildfires and dry weather conditions which can threaten to burn down their homes.

“Due to the fact that smoke particles are small and light, they can be transported hundreds if not a few thousand miles away from their source,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alex DaSilva explained. Under this condition, it is safer to engage in indoor activities rather than outdoor activities.

“Wildfire smoke consists of gases and fine particles from burning trees, plants, buildings and other burning materials,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone can get sick from inhaling the smoke who has asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and heart disease; children, people who are pregnant, and first responders are likely to be the most vulnerable.

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