New York City’s air quality is more than 56 TIMES over WHO’s pollution limit


New York City‘s air quality is more than 56 times over the World Health Organization‘s safety limit, making it the world’s most polluted.

The air quality index (AQI) is at 353 – 500 is the highest – compared to 15 on June 3. 

These measurements are taken by converting measured pollutant concentrations to a uniform index based on the health effects associated with a pollutant.

New York City, experiencing its worst air quality in recorded history, is ahead of the typical frontrunners like Dubai, Lahore, Pakistan and Delhi, India

Mayor Eric Adams also announced Wednesday, urging residents to remain indoors after hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires bellowed across the border.

However, parts of the nationwide, the Northeast to the Great Lakes, are braced for several more days of smog while Canadian officials battle over 400 wildfires.

New York City is experiencing its worst air quality in recorded history and has topped the chart as the world’s most polluted

Swaths of wildfire smoke came blowing into New York City this week, but on Wednesday the sky turned an ominous orange from toxic nanoparticles. 

Swiss air quality tech firm, IQAir, shares a live ranking of countries with the worst air quality. And numbers are updated live, so they are subject to change.

The company captures this data using PM2.5 measurements.

PM2.5 is defined as particles that are 2.5 microns or less in diameter and are dangerous and prevalent air pollutants.

The health impact of a particle concentration of 22μg/m3 per 24 hours is equivalent to about one cigarette.

And data shows breathing in the air in New York City for 24 hours is like smoking 22 cigarettes.

New York City, which has a population over 8.4 million, is currently 56.3 times the WHO’s annual air quality guideline value.

While Dubai, home to 3.33 million people, is 18.9 times over the limit, Lahore with 11 million is 19 times and Delhi, home to more than 32 million people, is 16 times over the safety threshold.

The city was covered in an ominous orange haze Wednesday, filled with toxic nanoparticles

The city was covered in an ominous orange haze Wednesday, filled with toxic nanoparticles 

The air quality index (AQI) is at 353 - 500 is the highest - compared to 15 on June 5

The air quality index (AQI) is at 353 – 500 is the highest – compared to 15 on June 5

And all three nations have been nearly half the measurement of New York in the past month.

The fifth country with the worst air pollution is Baghdad, Iraq, followed by Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel and Kolkata, India – all are nearly half of the American city.

And Canada, where the fires are a blaze, only ranks eighth.

IQAir shows Toronto has a 149 AQI, making it 11.1 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value. 

Jakarta, Indonesia and  Santiago, Chile are ranked ninth and tenth with 146 and 138 AQI.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses the Air Quality Index on AirNow to report air quality.

It varies from zero to over 300, with levels 50 and below considered the healthiest.

An AQI value over 100 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.

When levels exceed 150, the general population may experience symptoms.

Anything over 300 is hazardous, where New York City currently sits.

Swaths of wildfire smoke came blowing into New York City this week, but on Wednesday, the sky turned an ominous orange from the toxic nanoparticles

Swaths of wildfire smoke came blowing into New York City this week, but on Wednesday, the sky turned an ominous orange from the toxic nanoparticles

New York City's health advisory warning has since been extended until 8 pm ET Thursday

New York City’s health advisory warning has since been extended until 8 pm ET Thursday

Dr Mark Shapiro, a practicing Hospitalist and Medical Director in Santa Rosa, California, tweeted recommendations on staying safe in the hellscape of New York City

Dr Mark Shapiro, a practicing Hospitalist and Medical Director in Santa Rosa, California, tweeted recommendations on staying safe in the hellscape of New York City

Dr Mark Shapiro, a practicing Hospitalist and Medical Director in Santa Rosa, California, tweeted recommendations on staying safe in the hellscape of New York City.

He suggests wearing an N-95 mask, minimizing time outside, washing your hands and face, keeping headlights on when driving and quickly opening the door if necessary.

Adams urged vulnerable residents to be cautious amid the crisis and blamed climate change for the yellow skies.

‘This may be the first time we’ve experienced something like this on this magnitude,’ he said. ‘Let me be clear, it’s not the last.’

New York City’s health advisory warning has since been extended until 8 pm ET Thursday, as officials warned residents to avoid outdoor exposure and stay indoors when possible. 

Much of the smoke has been from Quebec, where over 400 wildfires are burning as Canadian officials warn they are in the midst of their worst fire season on record.

Throughout the nation, Canadian officials have deemed more than 240 of the blazes to be ‘out of control.’

Many of the fires that sparked the smoke crisis have been burning for weeks, but were forced south in recent days due to a storm system blowing in over Nova Scotia.

The weather pushed much of the smoke across the East Coast, and is expected to continue for the next several days.



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