Air Quality Health Advisory Issued Due To Fine Particulate Matter From Quebec Wildfires

Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, recommends all residents limit any strenuous outdoor activity and the very young, those with respiratory conditions or heart disease reduce their time outdoors due to the fine particulate matter in the air from Canadian wildfires in Quebec that is causing a haze across our region.

Amler said: “Infants and people with asthma, heart disease or other respiratory conditions should limit their time outdoors while this haze of fine particulate matter is present in our area. With the air quality index at an unhealthy level today, all residents should limit strenuous outdoor activity. This may be a good day to skip that outdoor run.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Health issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. To remain updated on the air quality index, monitor the DEC website for air quality index updates. 

Exposure can cause short-term health effects, such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with heart or breathing problems, and children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive.

Additional information is available on DEC and on DOH websites.