Smoke from Canada’s wildfires has been moving into the United States since last month. The most recent fires near Quebec have been burning for at least several days. Hazy skies, reduced visibility and the odor of burning wood are likely, and that the smoke will linger for a few days in New England.
Air quality alerts are triggered by a number of factors, including the detection of fine-particle pollution — known as “PM 2.5” — which can irritate the lungs. Exposure to elevated fine particle pollution levels can affect the lungs and heart. The air quality alerts caution groups that include children, older adults, and people with lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It’s a good time to put off that yard work and outdoor exercise. If you go out, consider wearing an N95 mask to reduce your exposure to pollutants. Stay inside, keeping your doors, windows and fireplaces shut. It’s recommended that you run the air conditioning on a re-circulation setting.
You can monitor the air quality in your area at AirNow.gov. Simply enter in your zip code and search.