For the last few days, people have been impacted by the air quality in many states. Smoke from Canadian wildfires has spread all the way to Central Virginia and beyond. The smoke is coming from Canadian wildfires in the province of Quebec, according to WSYR-TV in New York.
The smoke is impacting states throughout the Midwest and the South in states like Kentucky and Virginia. However, the worst air quality is in New York and Connecticut.
People are coughing more than usual. Here are some things you should know about the smoke and how to keep yourself safe and healthy while the smoke is in the air.
The estimated air quality index (AQI) describes how clean the air is as well as if people's health is in danger of particle pollution in the air. The air quality index is measured on a scale of 0 to 500, with 0 being very good and 500 being extremely hazardous. The air quality in some states has reached very close to 500.
On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at 4 p.m. the air quality in Central Virginia and metro Richmond was ranging from unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy for all people. The air quality in Richmond, Virginia was measured at 175, which is considered unhealthy.
Warning while smoke exists
There are sensitive groups where people are most at risk for health problems from poor air quality.
- people with respiratory problems
- people with heart disease
- the elderly
How long will the smoke last?
StormTracker8 is keeping residents in Virginia posted about the air quality by providing daily updates both online and on-air. At the time of this writing, code RED air quality alerts will remain in effect for Central Virginia for the next few days.
What should you do to you stay healthy?
It is recommended that you stay inside when possible. You should also run an air filter inside your house. If you must go out, wear a mask, especially an N-95 or P-100 just as you did during the pandemic.
People are also advised to avoid strenuous activities, such as running, or anything that will make it hard to breathe. Avoid smoking, according to the American Lung Association. Experts say that being outside in some states is similar to smoking up to 25 cigarettes in a day.