New York City took an unwelcome spot at the top of the list for the world’s worst air pollution. This unwelcome development was the result of harmful smoke blowing southward from over one hundred active wildfires in Quebec, Canada.
The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeded 200 points on Tuesday night, a level categorized as “very unhealthy” according to IQAir, a Swiss company specializing in air quality monitoring and development.
At 10 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, the city recorded the worst air quality compared to any other major urban area worldwide, as per IQAir’s data. Later that night, New York City’s air pollution levels were recorded as the second worst globally, falling behind New Delhi, India. Other cities on the list included Doha (Qatar), Baghdad (Iraq), and Lahore (Pakistan).
New York City topped the list briefly on Tuesday morning as well.
Over 30 million people across Northeast, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic USA received air quality alerts as the smoke from Canadian wildfires enveloped major American cities.
Improvement in air quality is expected in certain cities, including New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., over the course of the day. However, conditions are anticipated to worsen over Boston, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh in North Carolina on Wednesday.
This week, over 150 active wildfires have been blazing in Quebec, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre – more than double the number of active fires in any other Canadian province.