Here's what you need to know about the air quality in Cleveland
By Nadeen Abusada,2023-06-08
As the wildfires continue to affect lots of the East Coast, the Midwest is also being impacted by the smoke. Doctors tell people to continue to monitor the air quality and stay inside if needed.
The change in air quality is due to more than 400 wildfires burning across Canada, leaving places like New York with orange skies and Cleveland a little gloomy. The director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health, David Margolis, believes the weather combined with the fires is what's causing the smog.
“We’re all connected in this world, and the conditions have been dry and hot, and so that caused fires. It's been happening on the west coast for quite some time,” Margolius said.
He recommends that everyone monitors the air quality index, better known as AQI, because it changes by the hour.
“This is a measure of the fine particulate matter, air pollution that we're inhaling in our lungs and our airways,” Margolius said.
Margolius adds that people can continuously check that air quality simply through their phone; just go to airnow.gov , and people can see the air quality index at that moment.
“It was up to 159 earlier today, put that in perspective, and in many parts of New York yesterday, it was above 400,” Margolius said.
Dr. Mauve Macmurdo with the Cleveland Clinic says that bad air quality can have major impacts on your health. So, people should minimize outdoor activity for anything above 100 AQI, especially those with underlying diseases.
“People who are healthy can have things like coughing. They can feel it (when their) chest is tight. They can have runny nose and runny eyes. People have got things like asthma or underlying lung disease can get shortness of breath. They can cough. Their lung disease can flare up,” Macmurdo said.
According to the News 5 weather team, the smog should get better in the next few days but could come back if the fires in Canada continue.
“Until they put these fires out, I believe there 200 of them, every time we get a north wind, it is going to be a problem for Northeast Ohio,” said News 5 Meteorologist Katie Mcgraw.
For Clevelandars, they'll adjust, but just hope it doesn’t get worse. Doctors say you would not need a mask unless the air quality is 200 and up, which we haven't seen in Cleveland. They do reiterate that if it's 100 and up, minimize activity outside.
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