New York City air quality worst as Canada wildfire smoke blows in

 Thursday, June 8, 2023 


The air quality of New York becomes some of the worst in the world as Canada wildfire smoke blows in.

The smoke from the wildfires raging across Canada has created a thick haze across New York City’s iconic skyline, nearly fading out the Statue of Liberty and high-rises. The quality of air has become so bad in the past few days that now, the city has some of the worst air pollution in the world.

New York City was second only to Delhi, India for the worst air quality and pollution out of 100 tracked countries, according to Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.

According to the company, New York City currently has an Air Quality Index of 160, categorized as an “unhealthy” amount, meaning that some people may experience health effects. That ranking was soon bumped down to third after Detroit’s AQI hit 162.

The particulate matter in New York’s air was measured at 14.5 times the World Health Organization’s annual air quality guideline value, IQAir said, but it’s expected that it will improve to at least “moderate” through the weekend.

This is a stark difference from the typical air in New York City, which IQAir says has had an AQI of less than 50, classified as “good,” in recent years.

Although it had not yet been formally listed on the IQAir world’s-worst air quality list for unknown reasons, Washington, D.C., according to the company, has an AQI of 180 – 22.3 times the WHO’s recommendation – which would place it just behind Delhi. According to the government-run website AirNow, the air quality in the nation’s capital is even higher, with an AQI of 194. 

Having this poor of air can be “hazardous to anyone,” the National Weather Service has warned. Essentially all of New York State has been placed under health advisories.

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