MAYVILLE, N.Y. – Due to worsening air quality conditions caused by wildfire smoke, Chautauqua County health officials recommend cancelling or postponing outdoor activities on Thursday.
The public health hazard is caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires, which has migrated across the region. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) continued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the county until midnight Thursday.
The air quality index value is expected to be greater than 170 for fine particulates on Thursday, indicating a highly unsafe level.
Everyone should consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. The fine particulate matter in the air is not only considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, but also, the general public.
“Anyone with a underlying respiratory illnesses, like COPD, asthma, or is smoker is at the greatest risk,” explained Dr. Michael Faulk, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Interim Public Health Director. “In addition, small children and older individuals are especially susceptible to these changes in air quality and should try to stay inside as much as possible during this time.”
Medical experts say it’s important to take steps to filter the air while indoors as well.
“Limit use of window fans and keep windows closed with air purifiers on if you have one,” Faulk continued. “Warmer temperatures increase intensity, so we are fortunate to have cooler temperatures this week.”
Those with questions should consult with their family physician for specific health concerns and visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8406.html and the New York State Department of Health’s website www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/smoke_from_fire.htm for more information.
You can check the air quality online at www.airnow.gov as well.