New York City has skyrocketed up a list of the world’s most polluted cities as smoke from Canadian wildfires hits the U.S., according to IQAir’s “live city ranking.”
The live ranking lists the air quality of the world’s major cities, with Delhi, India, in the top spot and New York City in second, according to a version of the webpage archived at the time of writing. Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday night that all outdoor school activities would be canceled Wednesday in response to the city reaching 218 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI), The New York Times (NYT) reported. The city has had an AQI of roughly 50 in recent years, according to the outlet.
An Air Quality Health Advisory has been issued for all five boroughs, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation tweeted Wednesday afternoon. (RELATED: Air Quality Alerts Issued As Canadian Wildfire Smoke Blankets Eastern Seaboard)
“If you’re a New Yorker with heart or breathing issues, be careful when you’re outdoors. Smoke from wildfires in Canada is impacting our city’s air, so an Air Quality Health Advisory has been issued. Try to limit outdoor activities today to the absolute necessities.”
— City of New York (@nycgov) June 6, 2023
Detroit has the second-worst air quality in the U.S. behind NYC at the time of writing, according to the archived version of IQAir. National Weather Service (NWS) Detroit issued an Air Quality Alert Wednesday morning, urging citizens to limit outdoor activities.
“Air Quality Alert is in effect through Thursday June 8th for all of SE MI due to increased fine particulates caused by wildfire smoke from Quebec and Ontario, Canada,” the NWS tweeted.
Nearly 100 million Americans across 18 states were under air quality alerts as of Wednesday morning, according to NBC News. As more than 400 reported wildfires in Canada continue to burn, another bout of smoke is expected to surge through the northeastern part of the U.S. between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.