Why is the air quality so bad in Chicago? Unhealthy AQI levels
The air pollution in Chicago has reached record levels, while other areas in the US also suffer from poor air quality. Wildfires in Canada are to blame.
Chicago and Detroit were among the top three in IQAir’s list of cities in the world with the worst air quality in the world late Tuesday, as smoke from wildfires in Canada blanketed much of the Great Lakes region.
The National Weather Service has issued air quality alerts due to unhealthy air quality conditions for northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana and all of southeast Michigan until Wednesday.
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Chicago residents warned of health risks
The Chicago government has warned residents, particularly those who are vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality, of the smoke’s dangers.
“We recommend children, teens, seniors, people with heart or lung disease, and individuals who are pregnant avoid strenuous activities and limit their time outdoors. For additional precautions, all Chicagoans may also consider wearing masks, limiting their outdoor exposure, moving activities indoors, running air purifiers, and closing windows,” according to a statement by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.
The ratings for air quality reached unhealthy levels that were way above those recommended by the World Health Organization.
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Canada on track for worst wildfire season
Canada is heading into what appears to be its worst-ever year of wildfire destruction, as the government is forecasting heightened wildfire risk in most of the country through to the end of the summer.
Many Canadian regions are projected to experience hot and dry weather conditions that will persist after an uncommon start to the fire season.
Blazes are already taking place in nearly all of the country’s territories; an unusual distribution compared to past years when fires usually burned on one side of the nation at a time. More than 19 million acres have already been razed across the country.