As a result of the wildfires raging on in Canada, the National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for Western Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana that lasts until midnight tonight.
According to the alert, everyone may experience health effects, especially those in sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, and those with asthma. The alert advises people to greatly limit their outdoor activity to reduce their exposure to ozone and particulate pollution.
The particulate pollution (PM2.5) is a respiratory irritant that can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
While Kentucky is the furthest south to be affected, air quality has taken a plunge across the Northeast and Midwest.
According to IQAir, Owensboro’s air quality index (AQI) for Tuesday was 162 while today’s AQI is 166. While lower than bigger cities like Chicago and Detroit, both readings are considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The full NWS alert reads as follows:
|Event:||Air Quality Alert|
|Alert:||…AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT TONIGHT… The Indiana and Kentucky environmental agencies have called for an Air Quality Alert for their respective areas, including southwest Indiana and western Kentucky. This alert is in effect until midnight CDT tonight. Everyone may experience health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Sensitive groups include the elderly…children…persons with asthma or other breathing problems…and persons with lung and heart disease. People in these groups are advised to greatly limit their outdoor activities to reduce their exposure to ozone and particulate pollution.|