Thu 08 June 2023:
A “very unhealthy” air quality alert was issued for Washington, DC on Thursday over the impact of ongoing Canadian wildfires.
“During a Code Purple alert, the air quality is very unhealthy,” DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management said on Twitter, citing airnow.com, which provides information about air quality.
All age groups should stay indoors as much as possible, said the authority.
“Those that must work outside should reduce work outside if possible, and if not wear a mask (N95 or K95 equivalent),” it warned, referring to better-quality face masks that were popular and sometimes required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Us Capital Issues 'very Unhealthy' Air Alert Due to Canada Wildfires pic.twitter.com/YB5AwGONYR
— INDEPENDENT PRESS (@IpIndependent) June 8, 2023
Experts cautioned children and adults alike to stay indoors and sent those with no choice but to work outside scrambling for face masks they put aside after the worst of the pandemic. For the estimated 16,000 D.C. children who have asthma, doctors advised families to be on alert for smoke the could trigger symptoms.
Public schools and some charter schools in D.C. canceled outdoor recess and sports practices. Arlington Public Schools issued a Code Red status, suspending outdoor activities elementary and middle school students. Montgomery County schools went further, canceling outdoor activities through Wednesday and Thursday.
The creeping toll of the plume on those with certain chronic health conditions might not be known for days, they cautioned, as hospital visits are a lagging indicator of illness.
More than 400 wildfires in Canada have resulted in plumes of smoke soaring throughout the US Northeast, making New York the city with the worst air pollution worldwide and sending a haze over the nation’s capital. More than half of the fires, 239, are burning out of control, according to Canadian authorities.
Millions of people in the US are under air quality advisories, with the affected air spreading as far south as North Carolina, the state just south of Virginia, which is adjacent to Washington, DC.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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