Here are tools to check air quality in your area as Canadian wildfires send smoke across


Smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires is causing a massive plunge in air quality across the US. 

Breathing in is not just gross – poor air quality can cause several health problems like asthma, allergies and heart disease. Anyone with health issues should limit their time outside.

DailyMail.com has uncovered free online tools and apps that let you know how polluted the air is in your area, allowing you to see if it is safe to go outside. 

Numerous service share real-time air quality information for hundreds of cities. 

Below are the tools you might need for the next week.

Smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires is causing a massive plunge in air quality across the US. New York City (pictured) had the worst air quality levels in the world

Smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires is causing a massive plunge in air quality across the US. New York City (pictured) had the worst air quality levels in the world

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning the public of headaches, stinging eyes and other health issues that may arise after being outdoors. 

Tiny particulates from wildfire smoke can enter the lungs and then the bloodstream

It would help if you watched what you’re breathing in right now. 

Purple Air

This web-based service gets you real-time air quality data from sensors located all around the globe. 

Purple Ai uses a laser particle counter that can count suspended particles in sizes that are processed by the sensor using an algorithm to calculate the PM1.0, PM2.5, and PM10 mass concentration.

The smoke from the Canadian wildfires is filling the air with tiny particles called PM2.5, measuring around 2.5 micrometers.

PurpleAir is a web-based service gets you real-time air quality data from sensors located all around the globe

PurpleAir is a web-based service gets you real-time air quality data from sensors located all around the globe

In comparison, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, a single human hair is about 70 micrometers, and the human eye can’t see anything smaller than 25 micrometers.

Here is the link to PurpleAir

AirNow 

And the US government runs the app Air Now, which provides real-time air quality information for over 500 cities.

The app, developed by the EPA, automatically displays the current AQI (Air Quality Index) for your local area or any area you wish to check and allows you to store multiple locations for quick reference.

AirNow is available on iPhone and Android

Google Maps

This is a great service for those who do not want to download an app just to check the air quality. 

The tech giant launched the feature in 2017  at a street level and rolled it out to Maps in 2022 in the app and the desktop version.

Using data gathered from agencies like the EPA, Google Maps displays an AQI overlay on the map grid to show how healthy the air in the area is.

The US government runs the app Air Now, which provides real-time air quality information for over 500 cities

Google Maps overlays air quality data in Maps

The US government runs the app Air Now, which provides real-time air quality information for over 500 cities. Google Maps overlays air quality data in Maps

An online calculator takes the AQI + hours of exposure and tells you the impact on your health in terms of cigarettes

An online calculator takes the AQI + hours of exposure and tells you the impact on your health in terms of cigarettes

AQI to Cigarettes Calculator

An online calculator takes the AQI + hours of exposure and tells you the impact on your health in terms of cigarettes.

The calculator uses PM 2.5 particle concentration — the number of particles in the air that are a specific size.

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

Breathing in the air in New York on Wednesday was like smoking 22 cigarettes. 

New York City had the worst air quality of any major metro area — ahead of New Delhi, India, Doha, Qatar and Baghdad, Iraq.

Most of New York state and all of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont are under an air quality alert. Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Boston, Hartford, Providence and Montpelier, Vermont are being hit hard, too.

Kids, older adults, and pregnant people with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases must be especially careful. 

Rule of thumb: You’re exposed if you can see or smell smoke.



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