DEC Contact: Jeff Wernick (518) 402-8000
July 27, 2021
AIR QUALITY HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED FOR NEW YORK CITY METRO
Fine Particulate Matter Advisory in Effect Due to Wildfires in U.S. and Canada
In Effect for Tuesday, July 27, 2021
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the area of New York City Metro for Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
The pollutant of concern is: Fine Particulate Matter
The advisory will be in effect through 11:00 p.m.
DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value leading to a greater health concern.
FINE PARTICULATE MATTER
Fine particulate matter consists of tiny solid particles or liquid droplets in the air that are 2.5 microns or less in diameter. PM 2.5 can be made of many different types of particles and often come from processes that involve combustion (e.g. vehicle exhaust, power plants, and fires) and from chemical reactions in the atmosphere.
Exposure can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with heart or breathing problems, and children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM 2.5.
When outdoor levels are elevated, going indoors may reduce exposure. If there are significant indoor sources of PM 2.5 (tobacco, candle or incense smoke, or fumes from cooking) levels inside may not be lower than outside. Some ways to reduce exposure are to minimize outdoor and indoor sources and avoid strenuous activities in areas where fine particle concentrations are high.
New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy?saving and pollution-reducing steps:
Additional information on ozone and PM 2.5 is available on DEC's website and https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/indoors/air/pmq_a.htm on DOH's website.
The Tuesday, July 27, Air Quality Health Advisory region consists of Region 2 New York City Metro, which includes New York City, Westchester, and Rockland counties.