NYC issues air quality warning lasting until TONIGHT after extreme heat makes pollution FOUR times safe
- All five boroughs have a bad air quality warning until 11 p.m. on Thursday
- This was fueled when pollution was found to be 4.4 times the amount recommended by the World Health Organization’s air quality guideline.
- The increase in air pollution is due to the heat wave that is plaguing New York City
- This is because extreme heat and stagnant air during a heat wave increase the amount of ozone pollution and PM2 in the air
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued an air quality warning on Thursday because particulate matter (PM2) is more than 4.4 times the World Health Organization air quality guideline and the alarm has gone off because of the intense heat wave hitting the five boroughs.
Particulate matter is a mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets, including acids (such as nitrates and sulphates), organic chemicals, metals and soil or dust particles.
The National Weather Service (NWS) shows that air in New York City is “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” such as active children and adults, as well as those with respiratory diseases.
The advisory is in effect until 11 p.m. ET and the city also has a heat warning through Friday as temperatures are expected to slip into the triple digits — surpassing 90F on Thursday.
The DEC shows that the metro area experiences 107 levels of ozone, more than 50 percent higher than what is considered “good,” and PM fines are up to 52 – 12 is considered safe.
According to New York City Health data, poor air quality killed 9,500 people in New York City last year and cost the city $22 billion.
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The Metro area is under an air quality warning as ozone levels have crossed 100. This means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups and will be out until at least 11pm
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the tool used by DEC to communicate daily air quality and does so with color coded categories to show which regions suffer from polluted air, along with which groups are most at risk and advice on how to reduce exposure.
There is an AQI for five major pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ozone, particulate pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
Each pollutant is generally based on the health-based national air quality standard for that pollutant and the scientific information supporting that standard.
The ozone AQI is an index of 8 hours and for particulate pollution it is 24 hours.
The advisory is in effect until 11 p.m. ET and the city also has a heat warning through Friday, as temperatures are expected to slip into the triple digits — surpassing 90F on Thursday
And the poor air quality was caused by the intense heat that gripped the Big Apple.
This is because extreme heat and stagnant air during a heat wave increase the amount of ozone pollution and PM2 in the air.
Although Thursday is in the 90s, the added humidity makes it feel more like 100 degrees.
The NWS is urging seniors and those with chronic health conditions or mental illness — who may be more vulnerable to heat-related illness — to stay in air-conditioned areas whenever possible.
Those who must work outdoors should take frequent breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas, the agency said.
The heat wave has been going on for more than a week and has killed at least four New Yorkers, with the last one reported dead on July 31.
A recent study of the city’s health department found that an average of about 10 New Yorkers die each year from heat-related causes.
A recent study by New York City officials notes residents’ lack of air conditioning is a big factor in heat-related deaths
The report also found that there were approximately 360 heat-exacerbated deaths annually between 2011 and 2019.
NYC Health also notes that residents’ lack of air conditioning at home is a big factor in heat-related deaths.
“Of those who died from heat stress, the place of death was usually a house without air conditioning,” the report said.
‘People who died from heat stress were most often exposed to dangerous heat in their homes (69%, n=57 of 83 records with detailed information).
“Another 7% were exposed indoors, but not in their own home. Without AC, indoor temperatures can be much higher than outside, especially at night, and can last for days after a heat wave.”