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Mayor Adams Updates New Yorkers on Potential Air Quality Concerns for Monday, October 2

October 1, 2023

New Yorkers Could See Slightly Hazy Skies,
State Authorities Have Not Issued Any Air Quality Health Alerts at This Time

NEW YORK New York City Mayor Eric Adams today updated New Yorkers on potential air quality concerns resulting from Canadian wildfire smoke. Current forecasts indicate that a plume of wildfire smoke may reach New York City around sunrise Monday morning, causing noticeably hazy skies. For Monday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has forecast a moderate Air Quality Index (AQI) of 55 — indicating that “there may be some risk to people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.”

“While we continue to actively monitor potential air quality concerns for Monday morning, currently, the impacts are projected to be mild, though New Yorkers will likely see hazy skies in the morning,” said Mayor Adams. “Throughout the day tomorrow, New Yorkers should listen to their bodies, especially if they have any preexisting health conditions and take any necessary precautions to ensure they stay safe. We will continue to update New Yorkers as forecasts solidify.”

“Air quality is more than an environmental issue, it’s a public health issue,” said New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) Commissioner Zach Iscol. “While state authorities have not issued any health alerts for Monday, everyone should stay informed and take appropriate precautions. A moderate AQI suggests that those with heightened sensitivities should be cautious. As always, we stand ready to act, providing real-time updates through Notify NYC and other channels to ensure the well-being of all New Yorkers.”

“Air quality conditions can affect people differently,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “So listen to your body and keep an eye on to learn about current conditions. If you begin to feel symptoms like a scratchy throat or watery eyes, take a little time indoors. If you know you are particularly sensitive to worsening air quality, limiting time outdoors or reducing strenuous activity outdoors, may be advisable. Our climate and our health are connected and it’s crucial that you’re armed with the information you need to make safe, healthy choices.”

NYCEM will continue to update New Yorkers on air quality concerns, including through Notify NYC. New Yorkers can sign up for Notify NYC by calling 311, by visiting the Notify NYC website, or by downloading the Notify NYC app.

Safety Tips 

  • Full guidance from DOHMH can be found online.
  • The best way to limit exposure to poor air quality is to reduce time outside and limit strenuous activities. The threshold to take these actions depends on an individual’s level of risk. 
  • New Yorkers should call 911 if they or someone they’re caring for has trouble breathing. 
  • Monitor air quality conditions and be prepared. Visit the EPA’s air quality website  or download the AirNow mobile app to monitor the Air Quality Index. 
  • Now is a good time to pick up a mask, in case air quality deteriorates. The city is already making masks available at Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) firehouses and New York City Police Department (NYPD) precincts, as well as at the New York Public Library, and is looking to expand supplies to more vulnerable communities. 
  • When air quality is poor, wearing a high-quality mask (e.g., N95) can reduce exposure to harmful pollutants.
  • The city will provide alerts if conditions deteriorate further, but warnings sent by one’s body are equally important. New Yorkers should listen to their bodies. Reactions to poor air quality can include watery eyes, scratchy throat, headaches, or shortness of breath. 


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