Today's air quality alerts have 2 primary components. With temps going into the 80's there i risk for Ozone pollution as well as high particulate matter from fires in both Canada and elsewhere. The alert is in effect until just before midnight, but the degree of pollution is likely to reduce as temperatures lower in the evening.
Updated: Air Quality Health Advisory Issued for New York City Metro
In Effect for Friday, June 30, 2023
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. James McDonald issued an updated Air Quality Health Advisory for the New York City Metro region for Friday, June 30, 2023. This is in addition to the statewide air quality health advisory in effect statewide for fine particulate matter in effect for Friday, June 30.
The pollutant of concern is: Ozone
The advisory will be in effect 11 a.m. through 11 p.m.
DEC and DOH issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter (PM2.5) 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 indicating a greater health concern.
Summer heat can lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of photochemical smog. Automobile exhaust and out-of-state emission sources are the primary sources of ground-level ozone and are the most serious air pollution problems in the northeast. This surface pollutant should not be confused with the protective layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere.
Ozone and PM2.5 are two different pollutants that form in different ways: PM2.5 is often produced directly as smoke from wildfires and other sources of small particles emitted into the air. Ozone is not a direct emission, and is produced indirectly when sunlight chemically reacts with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from automobile exhaust and industrial emissions. High ozone isn't as visible as PM2.5 because it's a colorless gas, but it will produce hazy skies and reduce visibility in high concentrations.
The smoky and hazy sky in an otherwise mostly sunny, stagnant air mass in the New York City Metro region today is very conducive for ozone production. The wildfire smoke can enhance the ozone production, but it's not the primary component.
People, especially young children, those who exercise outdoors, those involved in vigorous outdoor work and those who have respiratory disease (such as asthma) should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity when ozone levels are the highest (generally afternoon to early evening). When outdoor levels of ozone are elevated, going indoors will usually reduce your exposure.
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