People living in New York have been told to stay indoors as air quality worsens across the state.
They were also urged to conserve energy and limit outdoor fires because of smoke from wildfires in New Jersey and Canada as far away as Nova Scotia that started last week.
Such are the poor air conditions currently being experienced in the area that people with asthma and heart disease are said to be vulnerable, while eyes may be irritated and people may experience shortness of breath.
State Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Basil Seggos warned of the situation at a press conference, saying:
“The sky is hazy, visibility is terrible and the air smells like smoke.”
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Late last week there was also an increase in ground-level ozone, a dangerous chemical produced in hot, humid weather.
Seggos found that the air quality index (AQI) reached 135, which is considered a level of concern for sensitive groups such as asthma sufferers, while later the AQI reached 150.
Children, the elderly, and those with heart and respiratory problems may be particularly at risk during such deteriorating conditions.
Particulate matter in the local atmosphere is widespread because it “can also get pretty deep into our lungs and make it difficult for our entire respiratory tract to work and deliver oxygen effectively,” said Gary Ginsberg, who directs the state health department’s center. for environmental health.
“It makes the work of the heart more difficult.
“We cannot rule out long-term adverse health effects from inhaling any type of smoke for hours or days, so it’s best to be cautious.”
In a statement following the press conference, Acting State Health Commissioner James McDonald reiterated the health concerns.
He said. “Those who experience symptoms or symptoms that worsen should consider consulting their personal physician.”
Officials don’t expect the situation to improve much in the coming days, as more wildfires are expected in Canada to have a negative impact on residents of the New York area.