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.

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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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