Real-Time Air Quality Updates: Smoke from Canadian bushfires affects millions of people across the United States

Real-Time Air Quality Updates: Smoke from Canadian bushfires affects millions of people across the United States

14 million ago / 4:04 PM EDT

UN secretary-general calls for more efforts to limit wildfires in a warming world

15 million ago / 4:03 PM EDT

Google tells employees in New York and along the East Coast to work from home

Google is telling its East Coast employees to stay home as smoke from wildfires fills the air in New York and other major cities.

Managers at the company’s New York site wrote in a memo to area workers that air quality in many parts of the region had reached unhealthy levels, citing the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation. In New York, most employees are expected to work from physical offices at least three days a week.

We’re advising Googlers to work from home if possible and limit their exposure to the outside air, according to the note, obtained by CNBC. The terraces on our New York campus will be closed today.

Read the full story at

29 million ago / 3:49 pm EDT

Striking images show the New York skyline on Monday compared to today

34 million ago / 3:44 pm EDT

Black residents of Detroit prepare for tougher conditions

Detroit’s air quality is among the worst in the world due to wildfires in Canada, potentially exacerbating many health issues that residents of the predominantly black city have struggled with for generations.

Detroit resident Sandra Turner-Handy, a Michigan Environmental Council retiree, said that before the fires, locals regularly breathed in particulate matter and other toxins. She said she is particularly concerned about the effects of the fires on those who live near the Detroit River, an area sought after for industrial use and which contains high levels of pollution.

He said Detroit’s asthma rates are three times those of other cities in our state.

Turner-Handy, who has emphysema, a lung disease that causes wheezing, calls Detroit’s pollution problem an environmental injustice and worries how smoking could spread in her area, potentially impacting her own health .

I fear anything that will impact my respiratory health, she said. I am very afraid.

Communities of color and low-income populations are exposed to higher levels of atmospheric fine particulate matter PM2.5 than other groups in the United States, according to a study conducted last year by Harvard University. A 2020 survey by the Environmental Defense Fund found that 58 percent of black adults living in Detroit are twice as likely as white residents to worry about air pollution in their communities. Poor air quality conditions are even worse in regions like Southwest Detroit, whose residents experience asthma hospitalization rates three times the state average.

Experts like Jessie Singer, author of There Are No Accidents, said recent air pollution only illustrates the ways Black communities are made more vulnerable to environmental disasters and climate change through infrastructure and policy decisions. For example, blacks are more likely to live where there is greater exposure to air pollution due to residential segregation, according to the American Lung Association.

Systemic racism defines whether or not you have the excess money to have an air cleaner in your home, Singer said. If you have less access to health care, if you grow up in a polluted environment, if you don’t have the economic freedom to take time off work, then when a fire happens, you’re more vulnerable.

32 million ago / 3:46 pm EDT

Jodie Comer-starring Broadway show briefly halted after star has ‘difficulty breathing’

Today’s matinee performance of the Broadway production of “Prima Facie” was briefly interrupted after the show’s star, Emmy Award-winning actor Jodie Comer, experienced “difficulty breathing,” according to a production spokeswoman.

The show was “interrupted approximately 10 minutes into the show after Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing due to poor air quality in New York City due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires,” a spokeswoman for The Press Room, a theatrical advertising company.

The spokeswoman said the performance had to start “from the top” with understudy Dani Arlington filling in for Comer as Tessa.

Comer is best known for her co-starring role in the twisty BBC America spy thriller ‘Killing Eve’.

1 hour ago / 3:13pm EDT

New York City’s air quality is officially the worst in the world

Current air quality in New York City reached more than 340 on the air quality index scale this afternoon, making it the worst in the world, according to IQAir, a Swiss monitoring service.

49 million ago / 3:29 pm EDT

Is it safe to exercise outdoors when the air quality is poor?

As air quality continues to plummet, runners may want to rethink their plans, experts say.

An air quality index above 150 signals that outdoor exercise can be risky, said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, pulmonologist of the American Lung Association.

It’s like swimming in polluted water, he said.

You’ll get irritated, probably 20 minutes into the ride, Galiatsatos said. You’ll develop a cough, a little dryness, and you might even get a little more out of breath because what you’re trying to do is some level of resistance, but your lungs aren’t breathing healthy air, they’re breathing toxins, they’re breathing noxious stimuli. You will feel that toll.

Read the full story here.

46 million ago / 3:32 pm EDT

414 wildfires in Canada, more than 200 of which are out of control

There are 414 wildfires burning in Canada to date, 239 of which are considered out of control, Canadian Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said at a news conference.

To date, approximately 20,183 people remain displaced from homes and communities.

It’s all hands on deck and it’s been all day, Blair said of the government’s response to the fires.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said hundreds of members of the military have been deployed to provide additional support to firefighters and affected communities.

Washington is also lending support, with the US Forest Service providing 648 people to date.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters today that President Joe Biden was briefed on the fires last week and has been updated regularly since. The United States has also sent equipment such as water bombers, he said.

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Doctors warn of poor air quality health effects as smoke from Canadian bushfires blows across East Coast

Doctors warn of poor air quality health effects as smoke from Canadian bushfires blows across East Coast

A thick haze conquering the skies of much of the northeastern United States has prompted numerous cities to urge people to stay indoors, and for good reason. THE smoke from fires in Canada it has increased air pollution to levels that could cause health problems for exposed people, especially people from vulnerable groups.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, smoke from wildfires is a “complex mixture” of pollutants that can cause anywhere from minor to severe health effects. This is because the particulate matter within the smoke irritates the respiratory system, affecting the body’s ability to function even among those who are healthy, and even a short-term exposure of just a few days can have serious repercussions.

‘Sensitive groups’, including children, the elderly, pregnant people and people with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular problems, are the most vulnerable to these impacts.

“The particulate matter in this haze is significant because it irritates the bronchial tubes, the little tubes that go down into the lungs and connect to the alveoli, which are the sacs that allow you to breathe,” Dr. Bob Lahita, a rheumatologist, said. he told CBS News, saying that anyone from sensitive groups should avoid going outside.

According to the National Weather Service, “poor air quality can be dangerous.” Here’s what to look out for.

Headache, irritation and fatigue

Among the milder symptoms when it comes to the health effects of poor air quality are headaches, sinus and eye irritation, and fatigue. While not as severe as other potential effects, they could cause significant discomfort or worsen other impacts.

“If you look at your car this morning and it’s been parked outside and there’s a thin layer of soot on top of your car, well, often it’s going to be inside your lung, inside your chest,” Lahita said. “And that’s a big deal. A lot of people can’t tolerate it and will be coughing and sneezing all day.”

Breathing problems

Those with pre-existing respiratory problems, including asthma, are more susceptible to the impacts of poor air quality fueled by wildfires. Difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, sore throats, bronchitis, reduced lung function, coughing and chest pains are all health effects of fire smoke and poor air quality. And according to the EPA, it often leads to an “increased risk” of emergency room visits.

You don’t have to be in a direct line of fires to have those impacts.

“Pollution from wildfire smoke can go up to 14 miles into the air and then be carried by wind currents, which is why it affects everyone,” Cleveland Clinic pulmonologist Neha Solanki said in 2021. “So even if you don’t live directly next to the fires, you’re still exposed to all that toxic pollution.”

More than 9.3 million acres have been “charred” by dozens of ongoing wildfires in Canada, The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams said on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday. And the smoke that has since drifted across the United States”it might last for a while.”

“There will be heavy smoke pollution through at least Saturday, especially in the Northeast,” he said.

Cardiovascular problems

Similar to respiratory problems, pre-existing cardiovascular problems are also a concern when it comes to air quality. Heart failure, heart attack and stroke are all possible when exposed to poor air quality, even for short periods of time. Chronic heart problems, such as congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, have been linked to premature death.

Weakened immune system

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there is evidence that smoke inhalation weakens the immune system.

“We breathe in smoke and it enters our bloodstream,” Dr. Solanki said. “Then the particles stick to a location in our body and the immune system kicks in and can create an inflammatory response.”

In 2021, a Harvard study found that thousands of COVID cases and deaths in California, Oregon and Washington could be linked to increased air pollution from smoke from wildfires.

How bad is the air quality?

On Wednesday, CNYwhich typically scores “good” on the Air Quality Index, ended up with one of the highest amounts of air pollution in global cities monitored at a level considered “unhealthy” by national standards.

Much of the Northeast was below the same “unhealthy” level Wednesday morning, according to federal monitoring, with some areas — including parts of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland reaching “very unhealthy” levels, the which means that the general population, not just sensitive groups, is susceptible to health impacts.

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