New York Currently World’s Most Polluted City

According to IQAir, New York is currently the world’s most polluted city, with an “unhealthy” rating of 184.

©  AFP / Scott Heins

New York City has resumed its place atop a list of the world’s most polluted cities, beating out runners-up in Vietnam and India with an “unhealthy” rating of 184, IQAir reported on Thursday.

Hundreds of massive wildfires raging across several Canadian provinces have burned for nearly a week, filling the air across the eastern US with a choking orange-brown haze composed of hazardous particulate matter. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the state would give out a million masks free to residents on Thursday, even as she stressed that “this is a temporary situation. This is not Covid.” City health officials have advised against exercising outdoors. Wildfire smoke can cause shortness of breath, burning in the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as chest pain. It is believed to be linked to cancer, lung disease and other chronic conditions. 

While New York’s air remains potentially dangerous, especially for those with asthma and other breathing problems, the situation has improved since Wednesday, when the air quality index (AQI) reached a whopping 405 – the highest level ever seen in the city since the Environmental Protection Agency began keeping records. Flights in and out of the city’s La Guardia Airport and nearby Newark Airport were delayed due to lack of visibility. 

The New York City Council passed a bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against height and weight in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

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