The Big Apple goes Orange in air pollution scare

Air pollution risk in New York

New York: Safer indoors. Credit: Sean Pavone/

The Big Apple was swathed in an orange fog today, triggering serious health warnings about the air quality.

Wednesday, June 7, was the day when the air in New York City became more polluted than any other major world city owing to Canadian wildfires burning hundreds of miles away, writes The New York Post.

For the second day running a thick orange haze smothered the city leading to all five boroughs being placed under an Air Quality Health Advisory until tomorrow morning.

The cause of the problem stems from over 150 forest fires in Quebec, of which 110 of them have been declared out of control.

The issue is so bad that Mayor Eric Adams yesterday urged vulnerable residents to ‘limit … outdoor activities to the absolute necessities,’ with ‘unhealthy’ conditions expected to last until Sunday.

According to the IQair website, which monitors air pollution, the air in New York was described as ‘hazardous.’

The air quality index for New York is normally at 100, by Wednesday afternoon it had reached a staggering 342 (hazardous), the worst city figures in the world. By comparison, Madrid was ranked at 53 (moderate) and London at 47 (good).

The fires around Quebec have been continued to burn for several days, which has led the province’s largest town to issue an evacuation order. The blazes have worsened due to the warm temperatures and ‘extremely dry’ conditions.

Parts of New York closer to Canada have issued a code red warning, meaning even people without health conditions could be at risk. Citizens are advised to limit outdoor activity and exercise to reduce the risk of ill health.

Meteorologist Stephen McCloud said: ‘Trying to limit your time outside so that you’re not breathing in all this smoke. I mean, it’s not going to be fatal, but it is something that could possibly make you sick.’

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.