Denver, CO

New Report Suggests Denver Among World's Top 5 Polluted Cities

Riley Blue
photo by Alexei Scutari on Unsplash

On Saturday, Denver had the world's worst air quality, thanks to smoke from the California wildfires.

According to worldwide pollution monitoring site IQAir, the city of Colorado reported an air quality level of 167 on Saturday, prompting residents to wear masks outside, avoid activity, close windows, and switch on air purifiers.

The afternoon light went red, and the iPhone weather app alerted Denver residents that the weather on Saturday was "smoke." Views of the Rocky Mountains were blocked by dense dark clouds, and the afternoon sun turned red. As the veil of smoke lasted overnight, pollution levels were much worse by Sunday morning, with the city recording a 171 air quality index.

Because of wildfire smoke from the Northwest and ground ozone, it also had the second-worst air quality of any large city in the Western Hemisphere. The Russian city of Krasnoyarsk has surpassed it in the global rankings, where air pollution is so high that “black sky” events are common, a remnant of Soviet-era industry and power plants.

Forest fire smoke has drifted into Front Range sky, combining with ground ozone to make Denver one of the world's most polluted cities. In addition to the smoke from forest fires, temperatures expected to reach the mid-90s this weekend will assist to create more ground ozone and pollute the surface.

While there will be a small respite from the stifling pollution in Denver and the Front Range on Friday, it will eventually come back on Saturday as smoke from California forest fires arrives, adding to the already filthy skies throughout the Front Range.

As per 9news, "The smoggy skies likely won't dissipate anytime soon, and Denver will probably continue to rank among the world's most polluted cities in the meantime."

Residents have been advised to wear masks outside, avoid strenuous exercise, close windows, and use air purifiers.

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